Agriculture Institutional Arrangements
Our country has many environments suitable for growing a wide range of crops. The Department of Agriculture, styled DOA, has been in existence for more than 96 years, helping the farmers to keep pace with agriculture's time related changes. Of late, the DOA has had to accommodate changes resulting from the open economy and the involvement of the private sector in economic activities and environmental issues. Concerns of a possible global food shortage and the emergence of new market forces have caused the DOA to develop new expedients for the future. If we are to succeed in securing food, our agriculture has to change with changing national and global priorities. The DOA has aimed at breeding new varieties and developing crop protection methods and sustaining production systems to achieve self sufficiency in staple food crops, without adversely affecting the environment. To achieve these aims, new technologies such as drip irrigation, crop production under protected environments (plant houses) and biotechnological methods have all been experimented with. With the increase of free trade between countries, the influences exerted by external forces on the local producers can be strong. This has necessitated the DOA to protect the producers by showing them new ways of increasing their yields and profits. At the same time, free trade has also opened up new opportunities for our producers to enter global markets. To send quality produce to global markets, appropriate production technology has to be developed that requires new varieties, new methods and new post harvest technology. This opens up an entirely new industry in the farming sector where access to the latest market information is essential. This is the environment in which the DOA's research department has to work. A cross section of the research department's work is depicted in this document without delving into too many details. This is more an illustrated account of how the DOA is attempting to meet the challenges of procuring food security and a good quality of life for our people.
In Sri Lanka agriculture sector private firms play important role for its development