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.

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Tilak
Tilak
6 years ago

The syestems has been draged down to such low levels & put in the hands of dirty wheeler dealeres most of these brakes to internal production has been set within the very places who are supposed to propogate export crops or things for local consumption.The dismanteling of these rotten structures has to be swift.(Balla innakota polla nea,Polla inna kotta Balla nea) drama has to end.

Rupe
Rupe
6 years ago
Reply to  Tilak

Tilak, we need more specific, measurable, scientifically proven solutions and policies than just general statements like yours. Who are the dirty wheeler dealers you are talking about? How are they responsible for this problems? What can we do about it?

Tilak
Tilak
6 years ago
Reply to  Rupe

Hi My friend accountant/administrator turned agriculturist(as claimed by U).Are U in to what crops?(Paddy,Tea,Coconuts,Rubber,Fruits,Vegetables,Onions,Potatoes, ect.ect or Apples Grapes ect ect).Where do you grow & sell them pl?.(SL or Abroad).

Rupe
Rupe
6 years ago
Reply to  Tilak

Hi my friend Tilak. Please don’t get personal here. I said my background to make a point, not to demonstrate any authority. My exposure to agriculture is wide. I don’t want to reveal my details because the Government policy makers can harass people like us if I don’t toe the line with them. They don’t want any alternative methods and ideas for solving our problems relating to agriculture. So, let’s talk about the issues here and try to create some rational arguments. I hope you are not one of those powerful officers!

Tilak
Tilak
6 years ago
Reply to  Rupe

My friend this is not personnel.I was wondering if U were a Paddy farmer who had to rustified with a hired tractor in those lines to sell your stuff by now U should know your facts,also as an alternative if U had tried to go to private sector to sell your stuff(since you cannot stay in lines with tractor hire rising & rain bantering)the moment U leave the line U go to a organised set up to sell your stuff u & should have known what price they buy it?If U were a some Export crop producer /or do an import substitute U should have known the difficulty in getting your due support for helping BP & employing people whilst earning & saving FE. U wait & wait for support(some times over three months) whilst the country establish all time records in imports reliving world excess thanks to some of those those very agencies who are supposed to propagate these products whilst U cannot pay your o/d taken to pay expenses of the operations like salaries. Explanations like lack of staff whilst the country & its people burn is common.If U were in the actual process no doubt U would have experienced these my friend.List of course is is long .But there is a silver lining in the sky if U were scanning the environment as an accountant U may have observed Decisive momentum has been gathering slowly but steadily amidst barriers preventing persons with authority pushing burdens on to the 20 million people for personal gains .It indicates an beginning of ” creation of very conducive conditions supportive of creating a stable financial environment. ” announcements of grate amount of financial resource allocations towards important areas such as Education in next budget.(4 fold increase) may be an advance notice that may help in fathoming background work/effort to make those a reality.Alternative ideas are key for grate ones my friend. Cheer’s.

Rupe
Rupe
6 years ago
Reply to  Tilak

Thanks for the long explanation of your points. I appreciate your points. But unfortunately, everything I see coming from the Yahapalana government is the same old bull the previous one (MR) had in a different name and guise. Reason? It is the same old advisors behind the politicians. We need people who understand ECONOMICS looking into this. There are NONE right now. When MS was a minister of Agriculture, he got fooled by the same incompetent, lying officers. Mr. Karunatilake (Min of Agriculture now retired) is one such idiotic public servant. What makes u think he can do a better job now? From what I see so far, I am totally disappointed with the new direction as there is nothing new. I sincerely hope I’m wrong. But that is just a dream.

Tilak
Tilak
6 years ago
Reply to  Rupe

My friend .You have expressed your self & of course it is your right. Isn’t this is an achievement?.Right of expression is not only for few in Parliament..In conclusion taste of the pudding is in the eating so keep on safeguarding what U cherish fearlessly.

Rupe
Rupe
6 years ago
Reply to  Tilak

Freedom to express is the most fundamental right. But, we don’t really have such freedom here. That is why I’m writing without revealing my identity because the authorities hate people like us telling the truth. They do not like rational thinking people. They like only people who respect authority. I will say, screw the authority. We need results. We need a younger generation of educated people DOING things rather than talking nonsense.

BKVWHK
BKVWHK
6 years ago

So what they are going to do is, they are going to attain self sufficiency by ensuring that everything is locally produced. If you grow food then you will have more food. If you don’t put chemicals and fertiliser, then food will be happy and grow. And they have to ensure that everyone is friendly with everyone else so that there is a link to Civil organisations like schools and farmers so that growing food is part of everyone’s daily life. Everyone understand – it is an obvious concept.

Rupe
Rupe
6 years ago
Reply to  BKVWHK

Are you making a sarcastic point or is this a serious comment? Please clarify.

Rupe
Rupe
6 years ago

There is one proven solution that has worked all over the world. It is called MODERN TECHNOLOGY. We use them in all other areas of life, but when it comes to agriculture, we seem to think that we know best. We still think our ancestors had better technology hundreds of years ago when the population was a fraction of this, than what the world has got to know through science and technology. Silly nation!!

kari kala
kari kala
6 years ago
Reply to  Rupe

Agree wholeheartedly. As an owner of a struggling plantation, I can attest to the fact that we have very little technology involved. Partly because cost, but mostly due to lack of skilled personnel. When we try to approach the relevant authorities for any problems such as a new parasite, a pest or a new way of fertilizing we end up banging our heads against walls. The elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about is the gigantic public service, which sucks the life out our country’s expenditure doing very little in return. Cutting the public service to one third and increasing the technological education allocation is probably a good idea.

Rupe
Rupe
6 years ago
Reply to  kari kala

Kari kala, let me give you a personal example. I’m one person who is trying to introduce drip irrigation to the tea plantations. We have already proven that the harvesting interval can be halved, resulting in doubling the yields. But the government is taxing us 35% on such systems. In India they give a 90% subsidy. Most importantly, the tea research officers are not interested in promoting anything new. It is the same with all new technology. The government officials are totally anti new technology. Be it new seed, fertilizer or any other technology, they will find a way not to let any change.