Sri Lanka’s government will support agriculture to strengthen local economy: President

Apr 22, 2015 (LBO) –Sri Lanka’s government will support agricultural based industries in order to build the Island’s economy, President Maithreepala Sirisena, said in a statement.

“The government will give priority to build a local economy based on agriculture,” the President was quoted saying in a statement released by his office.

The President was speaking at the Cargills “Sarubima Farmers’ Awards Ceremony” at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) in Colombo yesterday.

In 2014, the agriculture sector was the highest contributor to GDP (Gross Domestic Product ion) accounting for 57 per cent and grew at 6.5 per cent.

The industrial sector grew 12.5 per cent.

However, growth in the agriculture sector was affected by the adverse weather and the sector expanded by 1.3 per cent in 2014.

Critics say that the traditional agriculture based households are slightly challenged as young people are more keen on doing jobs in the service and industrial sectors.

Also experts have warned that rising temperatures over the next couple of decades will ravage Sri Lanka’s dry zone agriculture and a possible sea level rise will affect the coastal economy.

President Sirisena was quoted saying in the statement, that while protecting the traditional agricultural methods, the modern technology and expertise should be amalgamated to it.

“The farmers should take steps to produce what is needed by the market, utilizing new technology and expert knowledge while protecting traditional agricultural methods,” the statement said.