Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera says a programme will be implemented for the government to take over barren land and provide them to youth for five years for cultivation.
Speaking to media in Colombo today the Minister appealed to all individuals to join the ‘agricultural struggle’.
The Minister said certain owners of barren land are overseas while some are unable to tend to fields owing to employment constraints in the city and land is therefore abandoned.
Minister Amaraweera said the government hopes to acquire such land for cultivation adding that a Cabinet Paper in this regard will also be compiled.
The Minister said youth will be vested responsibility for the land for a period of five years, adding that the land will be handed back to the rightful owners in five years.
The Agriculture Minister however stated that owners of the land will not receive any benefits during the five years while all benefits will be claimed by the youth during this period.
The Minister also noted that during his term as Minister of Agriculture 38,000 acres of land was cultivated which brought about the highest volume of yields in 40-years.