A national programme to cultivate abandoned paddy lands will begin from Hambanthota on Monday under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena. At present there are 140,000 abandoned paddy lands in the country. Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that out of this amount 114,000 paddy lands could be cultivated. 26,000 acres of abandoned paddy lands have been re-cultivated last year.
He said a systematic programme will be initiated to cultivate all abandoned lands by the ministry of agriculture and agrarian development department.