Agricultural Project at Balangoda
Olivia and Fred have bought a 9 acre property 22kms from Balangoda in the south-east of the country. The property is irregular in shape, mainly hilly with only an acre being on level ground.
Employing local people, they have erected a large shed; fenced and cleared part of the property; organized water storage through wells and the construction of a dam. The planting of citrus trees is soon to commence and our primary crops will be lemon grass and cinnamon when we can acquire seeds. This is seasonal and may have to wait until Sept 2008
A road was cut up to the top of the hill and was used extensively. The last monsoon season created minor landslides due to insufficient drainage. This has damaged parts of the road. The damage is repairable and further drainage is being constructed.
Water storage is sufficient for all required human activity. A 100,000ltr tank has been constructed at the top of the hill with the purpose of irrigation. It is fed from its own roof and the roof of a large storage shed at the top of the hill. The water tank has irrigation piping leading down the hill. A dam is under construction. Major excavation began and continued until the digger broke down. It is still awaiting repairs from the hiring company and remains on the property. A new well has been dug. It is yet to be reinforced. This will also provide irrigation water. No suitable water for drinking is available at the property. This is collected from a neighbour. Filtration is required. Planting and irrigation could commence with the current water availability on a small scale.
The property requires the employment of three full-time staff for maintenance and security. Local community members have been employed. All are keen learners and hard workers. They will also be the first students through the Agriculture program.