ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday March 9, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 41
Financial Times  

CIC Agri combines beauty and productivity

CIC Agri business has launched two picturesque new seed farms in Hingurakgoda, and Pelwehera to house a dazzling array of agriculture.

The Hingurakgoda seed production farm is the largest of its kind in the island and sprawls over 1300 acres. While a large portion of the land is cultivated with paddy of various types, the rest of the area has a number of interesting cultivations as well.

The farms specialize in ‘Bombay’ onions as well as bananas but also have vegetable gardens as well as a ‘home’ garden. The vegetable garden carries the usual varieties of tomato, cabbage, capsicum, beans and many others while the latter is built along the concept of the yard gardens of the past where the CIC officials have displayed how small-sized yards can be maximized for domestic-use cultivation.

On the flip side, a profusion of hot-house flowers can be seen in a green house hosting little-seen fauna like sunflowers. In addition to the greenery, one of the main activities being carried out on location is the laboratory work. The in-house specialists experiment with various types of seed specimens, coming up with new and improved rice seeds, such as the red Basmati rice which is not available in Sri Lanka. The seed experimentation has resulted in rice variations which are easier to grow and have added productivity. At the ‘Tissue labs’, tiny slivers of the trunk of the banana tree are used to produce thousands of mini plants grown in bottles.

The plants are nurtured in controlled conditions and then distributed. Many of the experimental plants are available for purchase on the farms. Export-quality banana packing is another feature of the farms. After plucking and washing, these are measured to the inch and any disproportionate fruits are removed before packing. Machinery-wise, besides the advanced equipment used in the laboratories, the rice fields boast some highly advanced workings, including one tractor-like vehicle which reaps the paddy.

Without stopping there, the machine carries out all the succeeding operations like the manually done’ trampling’ and ‘winding’ and the grain is ready for the packers who travel on the vehicle.

One large area of the farm is dedicated to the refuse of the farm. The compost pits are maintained by a special team who treat the garbage and handle the removing and packing.


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