May 19, Colombo: Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera today instructed his officials to implement agricultural policies that would increase the income levels of farmers.
Speaking at a meeting held at the National Agriculture Information and Communication Centre (NAICC) of the Department of Agriculture this afternoon (19), the Minister said due to the drought and other reasons, the income of export crops has decreased to 5% of GDP for several years.
The Minister further said that due to the drought prevailed in the growing seas for the last several years, the crop production in Sri Lanka was reduced by about 30 percent. In addition the government has spent Rs. 38 billion as drought relief to farmers.
Therefore, the Minister stressed that in order to save the farmers from the economic abyss they should be directed to grow crops targeted for exports.
He also pointed out that it is vital that new technology be used in agriculture and that a program should be put in place to attract the youth to be channeled into agriculture.
Minister Amaraweera also said that measures will be taken to educate the farmers on cultivating crops targeting the export market.