Short, middle and long-term solutions to avert food crisis - Mahinda Amaraweera | Sunday Observer

Short, middle and long-term solutions to avert food crisis - Mahinda Amaraweera

29 May, 2022

Sri Lanka’s agricultural sector is in its worst state. The country needs 2.4 million metric tons of rice per year for consumption.

“We have been informed that there will be a shortage of 800,000 metric tons of rice. That is until we receive the Maha season harvest. We will definitely have to import 800,000 metric tons of rice,” Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera told the Sunday Observer yesterday.

Sri Lanka does not produce even 20 percent of its maize requirement and the remaining has to be imported. But the biggest problem is importing rice and maize due to the global food crisis. With regard to vegetables and fruits, there are severe difficulties such as the shortage of fertiliser, transport, and lack of power for cooling rooms. The situation is extremely tough, he said.

Minister Amaraweera said that he is formulating short-term, middle-term and long-term solutions for the problems in the agricultural sector. “I have held discussions with agricultural experts in the country such as scholars from state universities. I got their views and I will get the views of heads of all farmer organisations. I will also seek the views of Agricultural Department officials. After getting all the views I will do my best.”

“This year’s Yala season will not be that successful. But, we will do our best to increase the harvest from the next Maha season. I call upon all to do their best to produce their own food in home gardens as much as possible by cultivating various vegetables, fruits, chillies and especially yams (as a substitute for rice). They can do it even in flower pots. It will help to reduce the economic burden of the people,” the Minister added.