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Traditional Sri Lankan agriculture is ecological and organic; home
gardens are part and parcel of the family culture, and agriculture
is indivisible with the village. With the skyrocketing price of
synthetic fertilizer, natural systems are compelling the farmer
to give up chemical inputs, and home garden and fruit farming systems
are becoming helpful to our communities.
We are a village-based fruit farming model set up in the village
of Midigama in the southern region of Sri Lanka, with a variety
of tropical fruit crops growing under coconut trees. A composting
unit is integral to our three-canopy farming system. We practice
ecological methods to combat soil erosion, conserve moisture, control
pests and diseases, and feed the soil and our crops, and our model
is beginning to be emulated by other farmers in our region.
Our business is called Ceylinco Midigama Fruit Farms, Ltd., a name
which brings pride to our village. A farm gate processing unit making
wet and dry products is the market mechanism we have adopted to
sustain the project. This model generates a demand for fruits and
growing of fruits, which benefiting the village community. Solid
waste from the processing unit is recycled/digested and added back
to the soil as compost, thereby upgrading the soil. The diversity
of multi-fruit crops increases productivity in smallholdings, and
with the resurgence of the ecosystem, the natural enemies of pests—such
as birds and reptiles—do the work of pest control without
insecticides or chemicals.
This summarizes the Eco Fruit Farming System as a model for traditional
villages in the southern region of Sri Lanka. Comments are most
Michael Vass Gunawardena