Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Nature Farming and EM activities in Sri Lanka

This report is based on a visit by Koki Nagamine to Sri Lanka in May 2010.

The EM program in Sri Lanka is handled by SEEDS. The program is now managed by Mr. Tharanga, who replaced Ms Darshani. Mr. Tharanga has field experience in working with farmers, as he had been employed by CARITAS, a Christian NGO prior to joining SEEDS. Thus he is very keen to expand EM within the farming communities in Sri Lanka.

A meeting was also held with Mr. Ananda Tennakoon, who attended the last International Workshop, at the EM unit. He and his colleague were keen on promoting EM in a diverse range of activities. This interest clearly highlighted the impact of our workshops in expanding activities in the respective countries.

Several meetings and field visits were made to the SKK Lanka offices. SKK Lanka now has 25 branches in all parts of Sri Lanka and is actively promoting Nature Farming through home garden projects. Lectures were given to SKK members and the home garden s visited. The small homegarden at the SKK headquarters was initiated this year – and is considered a model on Nature Farming, for SKK members. They have also established a sales outlet to sell the produce from Nature Farms. The second farm is at Katana, and is a larger unit, managed with Nature Farming principles for about 10 years. EM is used to produce crops and they state the improvement of soils, thus promoting yields crops.

A Nature Farming workshop was held at the SKK headquarters, where 21 participants were present. They were taught the basic principles of Nature Farming, the development of home gardens through Nature farming, Pest and Disease management, and some basic guidelines of EM, such as extending EM, making rice rinse water, soap and mudballs.

A visit to a homegarden of a SKK member highlighted that Nature Farming really works. The garden had many kinds of vegetables, which could supply the needs of the family. The problem cited was insect pests.

All these projects highlighted the development of Nature Farming, slowly but surely in Sri Lanka.

Left New EM project manager Mr Taranga (right side)
Right The nature farming small shop

Left The KNF rice field in Katana farm
Right The eggplants are growing in the house garden

Left The nature farming workshop in SKK Lanka
Right The Banana trees in katana farm