“The next generation is not keen on getting their hands dirty and they dislike hard work. They do not want to take up the field of farming. They prefer being in air conditioned offices or being doctors and lawyers. They have dreams of their own and being a grape farmer is hardly one of them”
For thirty long years Sri Lanka was torn apart by a malevolent war between the country’s majority and minority; a war that not only claimed the lives of many, soldiers and civilians alike, but also destroyed much property and dammed the country’s growth in uncountable ways. The whole of Sri Lanka grieved as one at all that was lost but it would not be incorrect to say that it was the north that suffered the most; it affected the education, economy, health, security, agriculture and overall the lives of the people of that part of the island.
One trade that was deeply affected in the field of agriculture is grape farming, an industry that was and is carried out at a commercial basis only in the district of Jaffna. It was stated by Mr. Sivakumar, Provincial Director of Agriculture Northern Province, that before the war the district of Jaffna had over 250 acres of grape cultivation. The war brought upon difficulties in marketing the crops which resulted in gradually increasing numbers of farmers leaving the trade as it was no longer profitable. However since the ending of the war and the opening of the A9 road, new marketing prospects have been found and the trade has yet again been taken up and currently is spread over 110 acres in Jaffna. While cultivators who lost their farms during the war have been given the opportunity to revive their lost businesses, new cultivators too are being encouraged to take up the trade by the government said Mr. Sivakumar.
The Ministry of Agriculture Northern Province is currently focusing on introducing new varieties of grape fruit to Jaffna farmers in order to harvest better crops. These new varieties...