President says global food systems should be transformed sustainably

Saturday, 25 September 2021 00:34 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa 


  • Addressing virtual plenary of UN Food Systems Summit, stresses sustainable food systems part of Sri Lanka’s rich sociocultural and economic heritage
  • Says leaders must aim for better future for our planet
  • Asserts challenges being faced are universal, urges working together to find solutions
  • Sri Lanka welcomes technical assistance and bilateral support in promoting organic agriculture

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Thursday stressed that it was essential to transform global food systems to be more sustainable and that all stakeholders should work together in this regard.

The President expressed these views while addressing the Virtual Plenary of the UN Food Systems Summit.

The UN Food Systems Summit commenced in New York in parallel to the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly. UN Secretary-General António Guterres made the keynote remarks of the Summit organised under the theme ‘Accelerating Action for the Future We Want’.

While addressing the Summit, President Rajapaksa pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed weaknesses in global food systems and that it will only be worsened with climate change.

Sustainable food systems are part of Sri Lanka’s rich sociocultural and economic heritage, the President said, and added that the step taken by the Government to ban chemical fertilisers, pesticides, and weedicides that lead to adverse health and environmental impacts was a crucial point in the state policy on sustainable development.

The President pointed out that changing the mindset of farmers long accustomed to using chemical fertilisers was difficult and the production of sufficient quantities of organic fertiliser domestically was challenging. “Sri Lanka welcomes technical assistance and bilateral support in this regard,” he said.

It is essential to enhance market-oriented inclusive food value chains in order to reduce rural poverty when fostering organic agriculture. “Through such improvements, I am confident Sri Lanka will be able to sustainably transform its food system and ensure greater food security and better nutrition for its people,” the President said.

The President appreciated the technical assistance of the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Food Program provided to Sri Lanka and thanked other global and scientific bodies for the support in this regard.

“It should be the aim of all state leaders to ensure a better future for our people and our planet, and everyone must work together to find solutions to the universal challenges we will have to face in the future in this regard,” he asserted.

The President also expressed optimism that the summit would help facilitate the transformation of the global food systems to one that could better foster the health of both humanity and the planet.