Sunday Observer
Seylan Merchant Bank
Sunday, 27 November 2005    
The widest coverage in Sri Lanka.










Oomph! - Sunday Observer Magazine

Junior Observer


Tsunami Focus Point - Tsunami information at One Point

Mihintalava - The Birthplace of Sri Lankan Buddhist Civilization

Silumina  on-line Edition

Government - Gazette

Daily News

Budusarana On-line Edition

Policy reforms benefit large-scale farmers

by Don Asoka Wijewardena

As in most developing countries, agriculture assumes an important place in Sri Lanka both in terms of contribution to GDP and employment. Liberalisation of the agricultural sector, therefore, has wide ranging consequences on Sri Lanka's poverty and income distribution, said Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Deputy Director Ms. Gothami Indikadahena at the first ever national dialogue on Linkages between Trade, Development and Poverty Reduction held at the Hotel Trans Asia on Monday.

Indikadahena said that there was evidence to suggest that the export agricultural sector had recorded positive growth while the increase in imports held negative consequences for domestic food production, particularly after the second wave of policy reforms in 1989.

She said that the large-scale farmers were seen to have benefited by the policy reforms while some farmers had been adversely affected.

She said that the adverse impact on domestic agriculture was not derived primarily from the tariff policy, but as a result of other factors such as the removal of various agricultural subsidy schemes particularly the removal of fertiliser subsidies.

Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) Deputy Director Ms. Dushni Weerakoon said that while the economy did indicate an improved outcome in terms of GDP growth, most data had suggested that poverty levels might not have changed much in 2002.

Perceptions of inequity in access to the benefits of market-driven policies was argued and had been a contributory factor in heightening social and political tensions in the country in the latter part of the 1980s, she said.

She said that Sri Lanka had suffered from a lack of comparative statistics to assess the change in poverty status accurately over time and added that there was evidence to suggest that the incidence of poverty reduced by about 2 percentage points from 1985 to 1995. She also said that population growth meant that the absolute number of poor did not decrease over time.

More recent data had indicated that the National Poverty Handcount Ratio (NPHR) had shown a modest decline from 26.7 per cent in 1990-91 to 22.7 per cent in 2002 and added that during the decade 1990-91 to 2002,the poverty gap between the urban sector and the rest of the country had widened, while there was also a significant increase in poverty in the estate sector, primarily the tea plantation crop export sector.

Vacancies - UNDP

| News | Business | Features | Editorial | Security |
| Politics | World | Letters | Sports | Obituaries | Junior Observer |

Produced by Lake House
Copyright 2001 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.
Comments and suggestions to :Web Manager

Hosted by Lanka Com Services