To address the immediate needs of the ongoing socio-economic crisis in Sri Lanka, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in the partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Sri Lanka will procure a significant portion of maize seed requirements in Sri Lanka, targeting the Maha cultivation season. Maize is a staple input in the livestock feed industry and maize-based food items such as Thriposha and Samaposha, and the demand for seeds has swelled over recent years.
Sri Lanka is expected to face over a 60 per cent drop in crop production this Yala cultivation season which will decline farmers’ income to half, creating a cascading effect during the next Maha cultivation season growing the current socio-economic crisis to its worse end. However, due to shortages related to the ongoing crisis in Sri Lanka, only approximately 50% of the seed requirement is readily available in the country to supplement cultivation in the Maha season. JICA recognized the immediate need to import seeds and achieve the balance requirement for the soon approaching season.
The agreement was signed today with YAMADA Tetsuya, the chief representative of JICA Sri Lanka Office and Malin Herwig, Officer-in-Charge, UNDP in Sri Lanka in the presence of Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister of Agriculture with the participation of wider representatives from the partner organizations.
JICA and UNDP will work with the Ministry of Agriculture to procure and supply approximately 200MT (200,000 KG) of maize seeds to farmer organizations in the dry zone districts of Sri Lanka.