Sri Lanka to cut food import bill by manufacturing locally

Oct 16, 2015 (LBO) – A National Programme on Food Production is being planned by the government of Sri Lanka with the contribution of all the ministries and institutions with an estimated cost of 15,595 million rupees to minimize the expenditure on imports by producing the utmost amount of food in Sri Lanka.

Cabinet Spokesman Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that Sri Lanka is currently spending 200 billion rupees annually importing major food items. However, such food can be locally produced in good quality that are free of contaminants, he said.

“Animal products and fisheries products can also be increased,” Senaratne said.

“Therefore, it has become a current requirement for minimizing the expenditure on imports by producing the utmost amount of food in Sri Lanka.”

The programme will ensure balanced development in the country by introduction of a crop production programme based on Agro-Environmental Zones and that will help to attain self-sufficiency in the country in food items that could be locally produced.

It also targets making available plentiful supplies of food in good quality by adoption of eco-friendly methods thereby minimizing the use of chemical fertilizer and pesticides in food production while promoting food security and up the level of nutrition.

The programme also plans to optimize productivity and minimize cost of production by using quality inputs and adoption of appropriate technological and mechanical methods in production and keep a good rapport with all institutions involved in the local food production process and link this programme with Civil Organizations like school community and Farmers’ Organizations making it part of the day to day life of the people.

The programme will commence from the Maha season of 2015 and will be implemented within the period of 2016-2018.