APCAS Activities

Agricultural Support

agri001.JPG

Background
Ancient Sri Lanka has a prosperity epoch depend on agriculture. The life style, cultural events, hobbies, such all things had based on agrarian activities. There are stabled a village level management system to maintain own life. The ancestress loved to all living being flora and fona as well as the earth.

Nowdays at least more than one third of people are estimated to be related with agriculture and affiliated industries. In fact, exporting tea, rubber, coconut and processing these ingredients to products have been one of the main industries of Sri Lanka now and then.
agri_02.JPGTea Cultivation on the steep ground in Central Province
Recently, some emergent countries have grown rapidly and remarkably, which has led to rising global fuel and food prices. These issues have seriously damaged people’s life lived in the developing countries especially depending on imported foods or standing on vulnerable economic base. In these countries, social and political condition gets destabilized, which means Food Security is one of the main issue to keep the stability of the region.

Furthermore, climate change and frequent natural disaster negatively influences Sri Lankan food producing. Flood disaster caused by strong rain in mainly North, North-East and East region is still fresh in our minds.

Many Farmers exsist, therefore we can do many things to walk together!
The treats against the life style began since 1505. Main treats was happened by invaders. The second treat was the green revolution. Finally traditional agrarian system was disappeared. The current agriculture systemis driven on just market and more inputs should be used for it. Due to this the farmers have been got in everlasting poor.
This is true that chemical fertilizers or pesticides have changed farmer’s life convenient. But,
incorrect use of these chemicals negatively affected soil, health and bio-diversity, additionally recent rising fuel price has turned out rising these price and which begins to preclude small scale farmers from keeping such convenient agriculture cycle economically.

agri09.JPGgrowing crops and people's smileWe think that now is the best time to discuss about economically and mentally sustainable agriculture style. We are not against all fertilizers and pesticides use but that is problem if people depend on these chemical products in excess nevertheless there are many resources and methods which enable us cultivate with reasonable ways already. On the other hand, we understand the answer for “what is the sustainable way?” is different among regions because Sri Lanka has variety of climate, soil and tradition and needs much trial and error time.

Finally, agriculture has one unique potential in Sri Lanka. We mentioned at first part that there are many farmers and people working in the agricultural section and that fact means we have the Common Language Agriculture beyond ethnic groups. Therefore, we firmly believe that agriculture has much potential to promote the dialogue and peace in this country.


agri_03.JPGwell organized kitchen garden by the beneficiaries Our Action We have worked on kitchen gardens project since 2008 to spread the sustainable agricultural skill by the technique of compost making, companion plants or traditional method and reduce the food expenditure. We totally achieved more than 1,000 kitchen gardens all over Sri Lanka by the end of 2010. In addition to positive effect for family’s dishes, some of them actually expanded their land and starts to cultivate marketing purpose and succeed in getting the profit. Judging from these facts we could say kitchen garden is small but powerful input for the people in Sri Lanka.
And since 2009 we have installed some School Gardens with the similar purpose of improving expenditure and nutrition and making students aware of farming pleasure.

agri_02 (2).JPGAPCAS Cooperative FarmIn Parallel, we are working on larger scale project such as establishing the Agrarian Development Centre(ADC) at landslide affected area in Central Province where we have supported since disaster occurred in 2007.
There have been common and crucial problem among victims, most of whom engaged in agriculture, which is resettlement land supplied by the government is steep and narrow to make a living with cultivating normal vegetables by the conventional methods. On the other hand, most of victims wished to work as farmers again even after landslide because there were few jobs except daily employment.

Then we started to collect the information about such value-added agricultural products that people can go on farming under tough conditions. After discussing with agricultural researchers and local specialists from the view of cultural and economical sustainability over and over again, we newly launched “Mushroom Cultivation”, “Strawberry Cultivation”, “Seed Production Culture”, “Chicken, Goat and Cow Farming” and “Bee Culture” being based on victims’ adequacy and request by using the rest of each residential land.

And regarding the problem that during the harvesting session the crop price be on the down grade, as a solution the high quality vegetable dehydrating machine has been installed in ADC from Japan and we start to produce high-quality dried vegetables and fruits.

agri_05.JPGproducing high-quality Dried FoodsBesides, we established APCAS Cooperative Farm to cultivate collectively some agricultural products with neighborhood. Through the continuous process of collective farming, people can learn agricultural skills and get motivation each other. We will strongly connect this activity to the market and spread our know-how for any other region in the future with looking for more attractive and sustainable ways

We will continuously support people in rural area with various scales of projects because agriculture is common language for all Sri Lankan people!