Pambadeniya is a village in the Doluwa Divisional Secretariat Division, Kandy District. It is a model village that implements Sustainable Land Management (SLM) practices. There are many farmers in Pambadeniya who now reap the benefits of applying SLM in their lands.
The Rehabilitation of Degraded Agricultural Land Project (RDALP) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 2018 introduced SLM programmes for the severely degraded tea small holdings and home-gardens.
Sriyani Gunasekara joined the project and developed her home-garden according to the instructions she received at the training and awareness programs organized by the RDALP. She has a 15 perch block of land where she grows vegetables and other crops for family consumption. She also maintains a small vanilla cultivation in it.
“Home- gardening gives fruits and vegetables for family consumption and supports the family’s budget. I did not know anything about vanilla cultivation. After joining the project, I learned all about it. We do not receive an income from vanilla yet, but expect a good income in the future,” she said.
Sriyani has applied SLM technologies, especially soil conservation methods in her garden. She uses all degradable solid waste for compost production. Materials such as dry leaves, saw dust and straw are being used as mulch in her garden. She and other vanilla farmers in Pambadeniya are struggling to protect their crops from the drought. Water scarcity is the serious issue they have faced. However, she says that the plants in her home-garden are now more resilient to the drought due to the SLM technologies used.