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Agriculture

The objective of the Mahaweli River Development Programme besides the hydropower component are mainly related with the regional development perspective. Increased agricultural production through opening up of new lands and providing assured irrigation facilities and opening up of new employment opportunities in agricultural sector by settling landless farmers with the assurance of high standards of living conditions are main objectives of the programme. The extent of irrigated lands under the purview of Mahaweli Authority is about 90,000 hectares. Each family is given one hectare of irrigated land and 0.2 hectares of homestead. The major soil types in Mahaweli areas are Reddish Brown Earths, Non Classic Brown Soils and Low Humic Gley soils. Reddish Brown Soils are more suitable for growing other field crops and horticultural crops while other two types of soils are suitable for growing rice. Rice is the predominant crop grown in Maha Season (September to March) while other crops like chilli ,onion, maize ,soy bean cowpea green gram and vegetables are grown in addition to rice in Yala Season ( April to August) Banana and papaya are two fruit crops successfully grown in Mahaweli systems and production is available through out the year.