Retired Service Personnel Welfare Project - Agriculture
[May 04 2018]
Any service personnel from the tri forces can retire
after completing 22 years of service. A majority of these veterans are
aged between 42-45 years at the time of retirement. These personnel join
the society as capable men and women who had served with commitment and
loyalty towards protecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of
their motherland. Years of disciplined life in the military have given
them a good physical and psychological condition and a constructive
Every retired security forces personnel leave the
service carrying years of invaluable experience in many spheres of
professional fields including engineering, technical and technological,
medical, logistical, agricultural, construction, communication,
mechanical, food preparation and catering etc.
To a developing country like Sri Lanka, human resource
is one of the most valuable wealth. These personnel would have completed
their formal years of education in schools at least up to GCE Ordinary
Level. Since joining the tri forces they are provided with a highly
professional training and also a continued training according to the
branch which they are attached to. Many get the opportunity to obtain
further professional training in foreign countries as well.
Such a national wealth should be utilized towards
increasing productivity and achieving national development goals. It is
in this concept that a project was launched to acquire the services of
retired tri services, Police and Civil Defence Department personnel in
sectors in keeping with their professional qualifications and expertise.
The veterans' welfare programme is a carried out under a Presidential
directive and the guidance of the State Minister of Defence Hon. Ruwan
This project, implemented by the State Ministry of
Defence, also includes involving these personnel in the agricultural
sector in keeping with the national food production objectives. It will
also serve two purposes by providing with an additional source of income
to supplement the retirement benefits of these service veterans and also
retain their expertise to fill national manpower demands.
The project also aims to uplift the economic standards
of the retired War Heroes and their families through agro-based
self-employment ventures and thereby acquire their contribution to the
agro-economic development of the country.
Under the project, specialized training in new
agricultural methods, use of modern equipment, irrigation management
techniques, pest control, home gardening, storage, use of chemicals and
pesticides etc. is provided for selected groups of personnel.
Significantly, the year 2018 has been pronounced as
the year of Food Production and this veterans' empowerment project will
allow these men and women to contribute their share in this national
Under the project pension drawing retired personnel
and spouses of War Heroes who receive their deceased husband's pension
benefits are eligible to join as beneficiaries. They should also have at
least 20 perches of home garden or land which could be utilized for
Initially 1000 beneficiaries will be selected for the
project which will be increased in the following stages, planned to be
expanded island wide.
The project is carried out by the State Ministry of
Defence which will coordinate with other relevant agencies for training
and acquiring inputs such as equipment and seeds etc. The Sanasa Bank
will provide required funds for the commencement and continuation of the
programme. Special concessionary loans up to a maximum of one million
rupees will be facilitated for suitable agricultural ventures.
Selected beneficiaries will be provided with an
initial training provided by the Agriculture Department at their
Angunakolaplessa Training Centre. Thereafter they will be provided with
specialized training at the Department's Gannoruwa, Anuradhapura,
Batalagoda, and Kundasale Training Centres according to the agricultural
preferences of each beneficiary.
In addition, beneficiaries will also be assisted by
the Agricultural Officers of each Divisional Secretariat area during all
stages of their agricultural activities. The initial training programme
for a batch of 100 beneficiaries was successfully conducted at
Angunakolapelessa from 21st to 23rd February, this year. This was
followed by another training programme in Matale.
This multipurpose project has received a good response
from the veteran community. Realizing the significance of the project,
to achieve individual benefits and national goals, many veterans have
eagerly signed up to begin another 'mission' in their lives. The aims to
project will see each beneficiary become an entrepreneur and an active
contributor of the agro-economic development of the country.
Those interested in joining the programme can contact
the State Ministry of Defence and collect required information.
State Ministry of Defence,
Website - www.smod.lk