The Northern Province of Sri Lanka is one of the nine provinces of Sri Lanka and consists of five administrative districts viz; Jaffna, Killinochchi, Mannar, Mulaitivu and Vavuniya. The population of the Northern Province is around 1.23 million. The province is surrounded by the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay to the west, Palk Strait to the north west, the Bay of Bengal to the north and east and the Eastern, North Central and North Western provinces to the south. The province is divided into two distinct geographic areas: Jaffna peninsula and the Vanni. Jaffna peninsula is irrigated by underground aquifers fed by wells whereas the Vanni has irrigation tanks fed by perennial rivers. It is endowed with plethora of natural resources with high potential for development in several areas including commercialized agriculture, livestock and fisheries. Availability of a commercial harbor in Kankasanturei and connected network of transportation by land and air via Palai airport provide enormous opportunities for the harnessing of potential for related development projects. It has a total land area of 8,884 sq.km which includes 594 sq. km. of water bodies. Water bodies include the lagoons, bays, freshwater tanks and streams in the area. With regard to land utilization, the province has 167,368 Ha of cultivable land (19 % of the land area of the province). The coastal line is 594 km. The agriculture, fisheries and livestock sectors in the Northern Province have significant potential and presently make important contribution to economic growth. The agriculture sector including crop agriculture, livestock farming and fisheries is the dominant productive sector in the Province.
Overview of Agriculture Sector of Northern Province
(Including Livestock & Fisheries)
The Agriculture is the dominant productive sector contributing much in the economy of the Province as 44 % of the total population involve in agriculture and its related activities for their livelihood in this province, resulting in rapid development of the agriculture sector in the Province. Paddy which is the dominant and important crop in the province, is being cultivated in 99,642b ha and it is around 60% of the total cultivable land area of the province. Paddy production was 357,649 MT in both Yala 2019 and Maha 2019/2020 together.
Fisheries sector is the second important productive sector of the province, next to agriculture. Existing long coastal shoreline (44% of total coastal line of the island) of the province contributes to marine fishing activities, giving opportunities to the fishing community to involve in fishing related activities including export of fish products. There are over 38,688 active marine fishermen deploying over 21,183 fishing boats of various types. In Northern Province, inland fishing contributes 3% of national inland fish production while marine fishing contributes 13%. Note: Marine fisheries data should have to be obtained from Ministry of fisheries and aquatic resources development. The above Statistical data is obtained by calculation from some information we got from the Regional office of Fisheries department and related websites. In the case of Inland Fisheries, the statistical data is officially published by NAQDA (National Authority for Aquaculture Development) that belongs to Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development.
The livestock Industry has become an important sector for entrepreneurs in the Northern Province as this province is one of the major milk producing regions in Sri Lanka. Milk production reached 169,490 liters per day and the egg production reached 178,047 Nos. per day in 2016. Given below are some vital statics of the livestock sector of Northern Province; According to 2019 Annual Report of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, the livestock sector contributes 0.9 % to GDP. According to the Department of Animal Production & Health year 2019 statistical information, Northern Provincial cattle population was 332,271. Buffalo population was 24,38. Provincial goat and swine population were 179,256 (Highest in the country) and 4,395 respectively. Comparing the milk production with other provinces in the country, Northern Province holds Fourth place by producing 42.28 Mn Liters milk in year 2019. As a Province, in year 2019, Northern Provincial daily average milk production of cow milk was 115,835 Liters and buffalo milk 4,630 Liters and its contribution to the national milk production was 10 %. The provincial milk production has been increasing during the last 10 years by means of 8.76 million milk Liters in 2010 up to 42,28 million milk Liters in 2019 Broiler chicken meat production in year 2019 was 7,860 MT.
Technology Application Priorities of Northern Province.
Given below is the summary of technology application priorities of the Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries sub sectors of the Northern Province.
Twenty-six five technology applications have been identified for the consideration of the TSSC Project and they are listed in the above table. Provincial priorities are indicated under three levels; “High”, “Medium” and “Low”. Applications having high prospects for business development and high prospects for further research and development also have been identified and marked as “high”.