New agriculture policy to be introduced

Friday, 14 June 2019 00:10 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}



  • Climate resilience measures to be included in policy
  • All line Ministries to be part of policymaking process, including plantations


By Nuwan Senarathna

The Government has decided to amend the agriculture policy framework to be on par with modern trends and enable the sector to be climate resilient, Agriculture Ministry Secretary K.D.S. Ruwanchandra said yesterday.

Agriculture, Livestock Development, Irrigation and Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister P. Harrison 

- Pic by Ruwan Walpola

Speaking to media at the Government Information Department, Ruwanchandra said the existing agriculture policy was formulated in 2007 and that needed to be amended as sectors such as food safety were not covered by the existing policy.

“The existing agriculture policy does not address broader issues pertaining to the sector and we have been talking about this for the last one and a half years. Therefore we are working closely with experts to formulate a policy that is suitable for today’s challenges.” 

He pointed out that the main purpose of formulating a new agriculture policy was to introduce new policies such as smart agriculture and climate resilience practices for farmers. He said the new policy will cover areas such as plantations, livestock, and fisheries.

He pointed out that the new policy would also be focused on ways to reduce crop failures due to climate changes that had been a challenge for the last few years and affected the agricultural sector. The policy will also look for ways to reduce post-harvest losses that has been in talks for many years.

The Ministry has decided to invite stakeholders to present their proposals to improve the country’s agriculture policy. Ruwanchandra noted the European Union (EU) will provide technical assistance for the process with the participation of local and foreign experts.

“All line ministries, including plantations and others, will also join to formulate the new policy as agriculture is a broader concept and various parties are involved in it, therefore we do not want to miss out any of them in this process.”

A special discussion will be held on 25 June with the participation of the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs to look for ways to improve policy formulating processes, Ruwanchandra said. “We are inviting the public to present their opinion on how the new policy should be formulated and that could make policies more practical and target oriented,” he added. He noted once the basic drafting process is completed it will be presented to Cabinet.