Sept 12, Colombo: Sri Lanka 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 05 to 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 the rice production for the local and foreign market, while eliminating the decline in the food production experienced during the recent drought situation prevailed in the country.
October 5th, the first day of Food Production Week campaign has been designated as the Farmers' Day, and 6th is Students' Day while October 7th is Livestock Day and October 8th is Entrepreneurship Day. October 9th will be Fishermen's Day, 10th is Government Officers' Day and the last day of the week is designated as Aquatic Day.
President Sirisena pointed out that 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 a new vigor and revive the agriculture.
The President advised the officials to ensure efficient functioning of the program activities coordinating the Presidential Secretariat, the Ministry of Agriculture and other affiliated Ministries and the private sector. He also asked for new and innovative ideas from the officials.
The President also instructed the officials to provide seeds to the farmers in the drought stricken areas under a special relief scheme and also to pay close attention to the use of organic fertilizer instead of chemical fertilizer.
President Sirisena also instructed the officials to enlighten the public to take measures to cultivate fallow lands that can be used for food production process.
Ministers Duminda Dissanayake, Mahinda Amaraweera, P. Harrison, Vijith Wijayamuni Zoysa, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, Provincial Ministers and the Secretary to the president Austin Fernando also joined this discussion.