Published on: June 7, 2024

Greater emphasis should be placed on prioritizing paddy production while focusing on products that have the potential to excel in the competitive export market – President at the progress review meeting of the Agriculture Modernization Program

  • Discontinue products that cannot compete in the market.
  • The progress report on the agricultural modernization pilot project presented to the President.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasized the importance of focusing on products that can succeed in the competitive export market by prioritizing paddy production. He stressed the need to advance towards competitive agriculture by 2030 through the adoption of modern technology.

The President highlighted that the future cannot be secured without focusing on competitive products. He emphasized that it is advisable to discontinue products that cannot compete in the export market.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe made this statement during the progress review meeting of the Agriculture Modernization Program, convened at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday afternoon (06).

As part of the Agriculture Modernization Program, 26 Divisional Secretariats across the country have each received an allocation of LKR 25 million. A report detailing the current progress of this pilot project was also presented to President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

This report encompasses the initiatives undertaken by the Ministries of Agriculture and Fisheries, with endeavours aimed at establishing youth agri-entrepreneurship villages, and the involvement of the private sector in the agricultural modernization program.

The overarching objective of this project is to utilize modern technology to competitively supply goods for the export market, thereby capturing a larger share of the export market, boosting foreign exchange earnings, and enhancing the agricultural economy.

To attain these objectives, extensive deliberations were held regarding the development of an effective system to mitigate damages inflicted by monkeys and wild elephants on crops and minimize post-harvest losses.

During the discussion, private sector representatives emphasized the critical role of modern technology in preparing for future competition in the export market. They also underscored the necessity for government intervention to enhance the infrastructure supporting agricultural operations.

Additionally, they appealed to President Ranil Wickremesinghe to address existing barriers hindering the export of products bearing a Sri Lankan identity to international markets.

Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff, Sagala Ratnayaka, along with Secretary to the President Saman Ekanayake, Senior Advisor on Economic Affairs Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga, Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture and Plantation, B.L.A. J. Dharmakeerthi, Secretary of the Ministry of Irrigation Saman Darshana Pandikorala, Secretary of the Ministry of Fisheries, Mrs. K. N. Kumari Somaratne,Officials of the line institutions and a delegation of private sector representatives involved in commercial agriculture were among the attendees at this event.

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