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Govt. to launch national food production battle to revive agriculture, ensure food security

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Wednesday, 13 September 2017 00:00

The Government will launch a week-long national food production battle under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena next month to revive agriculture and ensure food security.

President Sirisena headed a special meeting on Monday at the Presidential Secretariat to discuss the National Food Production Week that will be held from 5-11 October.

The President said the initiative will be implemented as a comprehensive national program across the island, with the joint participation of all the ministries, including the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Mahaweli Development and the Ministry of Irrigation, departments, farmers, youth, students, public and private entrepreneurs and provincial councils. He said that it is expected to increase rice production for the local and foreign market while eliminating the decline in food production experienced during the recent drought which prevailed in the country. October 5, the first day of the Food Production Week campaign, has been designated Farmers’ Day, and 6 October is Students’ Day while 7 October is Veterinary Day and 8 October is Entrepreneurship Day. Meanwhile, 9 October will be Fishermen’s Day, 10 October will be Government Officers’ Day and the last day of the week is designated Aquatic Day.

President Sirisena pointed out that the objective of the battle of the national food production week is to take forward the national food production program, challenged by the climate change, with new vigour and revive agriculture.

The President advised officials to ensure the efficient functioning of the program’s activities, coordinating with the Presidential Secretariat, the Ministry of Agriculture and other affiliated ministries as well as the private sector. He also asked for new and innovative ideas from officials.The President also instructed officials to provide seeds for farmers in drought-stricken areas under a special relief scheme and also to pay close attention to the use of organic fertiliser instead of chemical fertiliser.

President Sirisena also instructed officials to inform the public to take measures to cultivate fallow lands that can be used for the food production process.

Ministers Duminda Dissanayake, Mahinda Amaraweera, P. Harrison, Vijith Wijayamuni Zoysa and Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, provincial ministers and the Secretary to the President Austin Fernando also joined this discussion.

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