May 20, Colombo: Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera says around 30% to 35% of the food crops - vegetables and fruits grown by farmers in Sri Lanka are being destroyed by wild animals and therefore, the yield of annual food crops has declined.
Minister Amaraweera made this observation at an event held to declare open a computer training center built at a cost of Rs 15 million at the Pothuhera Agrarian Services Center in Kurunegala.
At the occasion, the Minister discussed with the representatives of the Wayamba Farmers' Associations and inquired into the views of the farming community for future activities of the agricultural sector.
Farmers said that the government should intervene to minimize the damage caused by wild animals.
Responding to the farmers, the Minister said that it has not been accurately estimated the extent of damage to food crops by the wild animals. However, according to available records, many wild animals including elephants, monkeys, squirrels, parrots and porcupines are destroying the crops and the losses are roughly 30% to 35% annually.
Therefore, a long term measure should be followed to prevent the damage caused by wildlife, he said.
State Minister of Housing and Construction Indika Bandaranayake, Commissioner General of Agrarian Services, BM Weerasekara and several others were present.