Rural development projects through Vidatha
A program to develop the rural economy through "Vidatha Centre"
network has been implemented by the Ministry of Science and Technology.
The rural farmers and small and medium scale entrepreneurs are able
to obtain technology, financial assistance and marketing information for
their agricultural and industrial ventures from village based Vidatha
centres, said the Minister of science and technology Prof. Tissa
Under the alternative energy project of the Ministry, some of the
factories have made arrangements to use "Gliricidia sepium" as energy
generating source. The Director of Alternative Energy Division of the
Science and Energy Ministry A. Joseph said that Gliricidia Sepium was
identified as the best energy plant or the fuel wood in Sri Lanka.
"The use of fuel wood as a substitute for petroleum, diesel, furnace
oil or LP Gas is economically very attractive. A tonne of furnace oil is
marketed at Rs. 54,000. To replace this with wood, we require
approximately 3 tonnes of wood and it costs only Rs. 9,000.
The economic advantage is much higher if diesel or LP Gas is replaced
with wood, he said. The heating energy for the factory will be generated
by gliricidia at the end of next month, said the Operations Manager of
Industrial Clothing - Prime Polymers Division at Sitawakapura Industrial
Zone, Avissawella. An islandwide program for the cultivation and
collecting of "Gliricidia" had been implemented through "Vidata Centres"
by the ministry few months ago.
The marketing coordinating company of the "Gliricidia Project" "Senok
Lanka" project Director Daya Karunaratna said that his company is able
to supply the required quantities of "Gliricidia wood" which was
purchased from the rural farmers with the assistance of "Vidatha Centre"