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Govt. to transform agriculture using modern tech – President

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasized that the government plans to transform Sri Lankan agriculture using modern technology, including Artificial Intelligence (AI). The government is committed to support the private sector entrepreneurs interested in this initiative.

The President further mentioned that 100 Divisional Secretariat Divisions have been selected this year for the Agricultural Modernization Program. In the first phase, 25 Divisional Secretariat Divisions will receive the necessary facilities, while the second phase will extend modern agriculture practices to an additional 75 Divisional Secretariat Divisions.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe made these remarks during an observation tour of the AiGrow Company’s greenhouse in Nelumdeniya, Kegalle this morning (17). The inventor of Vega Car and the Group CEO of Vega innovations Dr. Harsha Subhasinghe accompanied the President on this visit. The AiGrow greenhouse is the first in Sri Lanka to utilize artificial intelligence technology.

With over seven years of experience in Sri Lanka’s agricultural sector, the AiGrow Company applies AI in both greenhouse and open cultivation, utilizing automated methods to enhance efficiency and productivity

The company designs and constructs customized greenhouses to meet specific customer requirements, offering continuous service and maintenance support for these facilities.

The company’s inaugural greenhouse, located in Nelumdeniya, Kegalle, comprises three sections where tomatoes, bell peppers and lettuce are cultivated. Additionally, AiGrow operates a separate greenhouse for mushroom cultivation.

AiGrow exports a significant portion of its harvest and supplies its branded products to local supermarkets.

Furthermore, the green agricultural automation devices produced by this company are being promoted to both local and international markets.

Additionally, AiGrow collaborates with local universities to provide educational opportunities in the field of applying AI to modern agricultural practices.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe conducted a visit to the AiGrow Company’s Nelumdeniya, Kegalle Greenhouse this morning, where he observed first-hand agricultural operations and production activities carried out using the modern technology.

During his visit, President Wickremesinghe also observed the electric three- wheelers and motorcycles developed by Dr. Harsha Subhasinghe.

Subsequently, the President participated in a discussion held at the premises, where he reiterated the government’s commitment to introducing modern agriculture to the country. He emphasized the government’s willingness to provide necessary financial support and training for this endeavour.

Additionally, President Wickremesinghe instructed officials to propose a bank loan system to facilitate this initiative.

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President meets TMVP Leader Pillaiyan

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe has symbolically distributed freehold deeds to 192 individuals from 13 divisional secretariat divisions in the Batticaloa District. 

This distribution is part of the ‘Urumaya’ freehold deeds program, which aims to provide freehold deeds to 27,595 qualified families in the district, according to the President’s Media Division (PMD).

The ‘Urumaya’ national program is set to grant 2 million freehold land deeds to people across the island, enhancing property rights and security for numerous families.

Following the distribution ceremony, President Wickremesinghe met with TMVP Leader Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, also known as Pillaiyan, and party members at their headquarters. 

During this meeting, the TMVP leader expressed his support for the President and confirmed his party’s backing in the upcoming presidential election.

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Deadline for NIC applications extended to June 30

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The Department for Registration of Persons (DRP) has extended the deadline for individuals over 40 years old to apply for National Identity Cards (NICs) to June 30, 2024. 

Commissioner General of the department Pradeep Saputhanthri stated that the deadline for these applications has been extended to June 30. Originally, the deadline was set for March 31.

This extension was granted in response to requests from Divisional Secretaries, according to the department.

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Highlights from the 16th Nationalised Services Cricket Awards

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The 16th Nationalised Services Award, organized by the Nationalised Services Cricket Association (NSCA), took place in Colombo. 

State Minister for Sports Rohana Dissanayake and Sri Lanka Cricket President Shammi Silva chaired the event. 

NSCA Chairman Nalin Aponsu and members of semi-state and bank cricket teams attended. 

Awards were presented to teams that participated and won national service cricket tournaments from 2018 to 2024. 

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