Fillip for fruit production in Sri Lanka | Sunday Observer

Fillip for fruit production in Sri Lanka

At the signing of the agreement
At the signing of the agreement

The FAO-China South-South Cooperation tripartite agreement between the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), China and Sri Lanka was signed at the FAO headquarters in Rome last week to help Sri Lanka boost the production and commercialisation of fruit crops among the value chain actors in the country.

FAO Deputy Director-General - Programmes, Daniel Gustafson, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of China to FAO Niu Dun and Agriculture Ministry Secretary K.D.S. Ruwanchandra signed the agreements.

FAO’s South-South Cooperation initiatives help developing countries share agricultural knowledge and expertise among them. Innovation and good practices that have been tested elsewhere in the global South can benefit other countries facing similar challenges through the mechanism.

China has been an active participant, strong supporter and major contributor of FAO’s South-South Cooperation, granting USD 80 million to the FAO-China South-South Cooperation Programme in support of knowledge sharing and technology transfer among southern countries.

Chinese expertise

Sri Lanka is the second country in Asia to be funded through the FAO-China South-South Cooperation Programme. The project, valued over USD 1.1 million, will mainly focus on the increase of fruit production and trade in and out of the country, contributing to FAO’s strategic objectives and to the country programming framework for Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka has had a strong economic growth since the end of the war against terrorism, but the challenges remain critical. Poor cultivation and high post-harvest losses lead to low yield and inadequate adherence to international food safety standards. The project will include practical field-based capacity building through various implementation approaches.

Eight experts and six technicians will offer technical guidance to local communities, transfer practical and advanced technologies and organise training courses during the two years of the project.

Priority areas will include rising up the value chain of target fruit crops and helping develop domestic and export market to increase farmers’ income.

South-South Cooperation between FAO, China and Sri Lanka will enable the exchange of expertise while boosting national food security and small-scale farmer livelihoods in South Asia.

FAO Deputy Director-General Gustafson commended the contribution of China to the success of global South-South Cooperation since 1996.

He recognised the achievement of the collaboration expanding to Sri Lanka under the umbrella of the FAO-China South-South Cooperation Program.