National Policies in Agriculture

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Api Wawamu Rata Nagamu Programme

World food production is insufficient to meet the increasing food demand for world population. It is an alarming crisis of world food scarcity. This is mainly because of the reduction in world food production due to population growth, higher production cost, drastic climatic change and scarcity of suitable land for crop cultivation. In addition, day to day increase in fuel price also affects the crop cultivation, animal husbandry and fishery products including all agricultural products directly or indirectly.

It is reported that, presently people persuade to use maize as well as coarse grains as a bio fuel as an alternative solution for energy crisis. It is important to mention that this fact directly causes scarcity of above grains and ultimately leads to price increase. For instance, use of maize for bio fuel production will increase the price of maize in world market which ultimately leads to the price of animal feed as well as animal products. As an alternative, people can pay attention to use other grains to produce animal feeds. It also causes the reduction of supply and increases the price of other grains as well. This was reported in our country as well in recent past.

It is reported that the large rice producing countries like India and Vietnam has limited their rice production in the past few years. And, reduction of rice production in Philippine, Indonesia also resulted to increase the price of rice. Thus, we can not be assumed reduction of price of the food items in near future. How ever price of the wheat and rice already increased in world market. It is about US $ 550 per one ton of rice. To overcome this kind of crisis situation, the best alternative is to promote production of local food materials. Specially, production of local demand of rice, other grains, leguminous crops, fruits, vegetables and potatoes will lead to the food security of the local people.

Therefore, the programme known as “Api wawamu rata nagamu 2007-2010” has been introduced to our country to promote local food production in Sri Lanka. Thereby, it can utilize the individual dedication and contribution of all the people in our country to achieve this tremendous task of food security. Again, this programme will effectively use of almost all the land which is suitable for crop production.

The basic objective of this programme is to achieve self sufficiency of rice, other field crops, as well as fruits and vegetables. Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Services and Department of Agriculture have immense duty to accomplish these objectives. They have planned to launch special activities to achieve this target and hoping to get other contribution of ministries for this important national service.

One Crop One Village

Agricultural development programmes identified in the ‘ 10-Year Development Plan’ of the Government is expected to securing food and nutrition security through a variety of strategies. It proposes a village development strategy based on each village specializing in the production of one commodity. Through this process it is expected to improve product quality, post harvest handling, processing, marketing, raise scale of production and increase the competitiveness of village produce thereby bringing greater incomes to the rural community. The ‘one crop-one village’ program that will be implemented by the departments and statutory boards coming under the Ministry of Agriculture is designed to identify crop products that best suits the village and meets the objective of increasing domestic food production. An integrated effort involving all governmental, non- governmental and private organizations active at the village level will be harnessed in the implementation of the programmes.

Justification

Agricultural produce from villages is affected by a number of constraints to increase production and productivity. At present, low productivity, poor quality and fluctuating supply affects marketability of village produce. This program is expected to address several constraints that affect the ability of the village communities to become competitive producers and entrepreneurs such as:

  1. Shortage of capital investment
  2. Shortage of high quality seed and planting material
  3. Poor use of appropriate and modern technology to increase crop productivity
  4. Lower product quality and marketing issues
  5. Low level of post harvest processing and value addition
  6. Poor institutional coordination
  7. Inadequate Agricultural infrastructure

General Objective

The objective of the program is to increase productivity and marketability of agricultural produce through village level planning to improve economic conditions and living standards of rural communities.

Specific Objectives

It is expected that the successful implementation of the programme will bring several advantages to the village communities, consumers and the nation :

  1. Converting farmers engaged in traditional agriculture to agri-entrepreneurs employing new technology and modern marketing strategies
  2. Assist existing entrepreneurs and introduce new entrepreneurs to develop agro-Businesses
  3. Enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of agricultural research and advisory services through regionalization of crop production
  4. Better coordination and integration in the supply of agricultural inputs and allied services
  5. Improve post harvest handling practices
  6. Promote processing and value addition
  7. Improve supply chain activities
  8. Specializing farmers and commodities through crop- Zoning
  9. Reduce import requirement of selected products
  10. Ensure adequate supply and accessibility f safe, nutritious and high quality food at affordable prices.

Organic fertilizer production

PRODUCTION AND UTILIZATION OF ORGANIC MANURE

Through promoting production of organic manure it is expected to reduce importation of chemical fertilizers by 25% within the next 03 years. In this regard necessary training, publicity through mass media and field demonstrations will be organized for enhancing the required knowledge and skills relating to production and the use of organic fertilizers

ESTABLISHMENT OF AN AUTHORITY FOR PRODUCTION AND POPULARIZATION OF ORGANIC FERTILIZER

Steps will be taken to establish an Authority for coordination of all activities referred to above for promotion of production and distribution of organic fertilizer as the main component of National Food Production Drive. It is expected to facilitate the production of organic fertilizer as a mean to reduce the import of chemical fertilizers by 25% within next three years.

PROMOTION AND DISSEMINATION OF ENVIRONMENT FRIENDLY AGRO-TECHNOLOGIE

It is necessary to introduce agricultural technologies which would pave the way for increasing production with minimal use of chemical fertilizers and agro-chemicals. This could be achieved through introduction and promotion of agricultural technologies such as Integrated Plant Nutrition Systems (IPNS) ,Integrated Pest management (IPM) and Organic Farming.