May 22, Colombo: Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has instructed officials to take steps to prepare an accelerated agricultural development plan for the next 3 years.
Accordingly, the Provincial Agriculture Ministers Forum was held recently under the patronage of Minister Mahinda Amaraweera at the Agriculture Information Technology Institute in Gannoruwa, Kandy to obtain the views and suggestions on preparing the relevant draft bill.
Many aspects of the agricultural sector such as understanding the growing status of the agricultural sector considering natural hazards, post-harvest damage, the damage done by the animals, introduction of new technical equipment, regular agricultural training, and expansion of market opportunities were discussed at the forum.
The Minister said the three year accelerated agricultural development plan will be handed over to the President Maithripala Sirisena on the 24th of this month.
Expressing his views, the Minister said the agricultural development in the country should take place so as to protect the farmer community as well as to protect the consumer.
He said annually an enormous amount of money is spent on the imports of food and therefore, the public should be encouraged to cultivate targeted crops to save the money in the country.
The Minister expressed the view that the agricultural development should be directed through a program targeting to reduce the imports of food as much as possible and increase the exports.
Governor of Central Province PB Dissanayake, Chief Minister Central Province Sarath Ekanayake and Provincial Ministers of Agriculture, Secretaries and a large number of people attended the meeting.