Biodynamic farm in Palugaswewa
Sri Lanka is a country with an agricultural economy and the contribution of small-scale and medium-scale enterprises are also significant to the economic endeavours in the country.
The country has been identified as an upper-middle income country in the previous years by the world bank but now it has been categorized as a lower-middle income country since July last year.
Further, the conventional farming methods have employed agrochemicals which is directly linked to the high prevalence of kidney disease in highly agricultural areas such as Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa.
Biodynamic farm is an environmentally sustainable entity in which agricultural biodiversity is preserved.
The location of interest for this project is a remote area called Palugaswewa in Anuradhapura district in the north central province. A considerable proportion of livelihoods are linked to tourism and are affected due to COVID19 pandemic. Lack of optional income methods and support on a broader scale for diversifying the livelihoods are common causes for the pandemic-related adverse effects on household income in Palugaswewa.
Both traditional and conventional farming practises are used by the villagers and ‘slash & burn’ can be observed in traditional chena cultivation practises which directly affect natural ecosystems.
Agricultural biodiversity can be used as a tool to improve food and nutrition security not only among vulnerable groups but also people in general by providing easy access to diverse food items within the local environment both cultivated and wild.
Approximately 350 families in Palugaswewa DS division will be the target beneficiaries out of which the immediate villagers will be recruited at the initial stage and gradually will expand to the other areas. Anticipated total target beneficiaries during the first year is around 169 families. This includes 95 start-ups, 18 expansions and around 44 employees. The majority of these beneficiaries will be vulnerable women and the businesses will be women-led.