The Sustainable Land Management (SLM) program for home-gardens is continued under the Rehabilitation of Degraded Agricultural Land Project of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation.
The second training program for the officers of the Department of Agrarian Development in the Bandarawela Agrarian Service Division was conducted from February 1st to 3rd at the Kahagolla Agriculture Research and Development Canter (KARDC), Bandarawela
This technical training program was organized for the officers who are involved in the promotion of home-gardening and were trained on how to conduct Farmer Field Schools (FFS) for home-gardening on December 19th to 21st, 2020.
The training focused on several aspects of home-gardening. Officers were trained on how to connect family nutrition with home gardening and produce agricultural products for family consumption with higher nutritional value.
Another important training session was on soil because the most of the lands under home-gardening in the central highlands are subjected to severe degradation, mainly soil erosion. The officers were educated on soil composition, soil degradation, soil erosion, importance of soil conservation, soil health, soil biodiversity, live soil and soil conservation methods. The session also focused on how to improve soil quality, use of compost and compost production in home-gardens. The training also focused on plant nutrients and the officers were trained on how to identify the availability of plant nutrients, symptoms of deficiencies and supply them.
The other training modules were; fence management, plant placement, nursery management, planting of annual and perennial crops, plant pruning, plant training. All the training sessions were conducted with a participatory approach and group activities with practical examples from the field. The training also included water management, waste management, pest and diseases and how to control pest and diseases in home-gardens.
The training program was conducted by an eminent team of agriculture experts including Upali Jayasundara FAO Consultant for FFS, K.P.N Somachandra, Deputy Director of the KARDC, Dr Manoj Kodokara of the ARDC, Dr A.G Chandrapala of the Natural Resource Management Centre, Sudarma Wanasingha, Head, Nursing School, Bandarawela. The program was organized by RDALP District Co-ordinator of the Badulla and Nuwara Eliya, Upul Jayaweera.
Sanjema Weerakoon, Divisional Agriculture Development Officer, Bandarawela and Agriculture Research and Development Officers of the division took part in the training.