Animals destroy one-third of Sri Lanka’s crop production: President


Oct 06, 2017 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena highlights that one-third of country’s crop production is affected and destroyed by various wild animals. Addressing the National Food Production Battle launched on Friday, President said that wild elephants, boar, peacocks, monkeys and apes are among those animals. There are reports every day about wild elephants invade farmers’ cultivations, destroy crops and damage their homes. Deforestation has left these animals with less space to live; as a result they have been driven closer to human populations in search of food and can often be seen in cultivated lands. Farmers see them as a threat to their crops and charge authorities for not taking an action regarding the destruction of their crops. “This is not a small issue; but no one has a plan and no one speaks about it,” Sirisena stressed. “There are over 1 million monkeys and apes in Sri Lanka. Monkeys and apes are even found in Colombo 7.” President emphasized that it is not easy to take a decision with regard to the crop destruction as this is an area deals with various religious, animal welfare and environmental sentiments. “It’s our duty to protect animals but we may have to take certain decisions because we have to protect people than animals.” The inauguration of the food programme marked by holding the ‘National Wap Magul Ceremony’ and it is expected to launch many programmes across the country while declaring October 06 to 12 as the National Food Production week. In the Mahaweli zone, there are an estimated 150,000 of irrigation lands and all those lands are expected to be used for this program. The extent of irrigable land has been increased to 483,000 ha including 80,000 ha of well drained upland with the commissioning of lands under the Mahaweli river system and other major irrigation schemes.  
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