May 20, Colombo: President Ranil Wickremesinghe instructed the immediate establishment of an Agricultural Modernization Secretariat to address the issues arising in the Agricultural Modernization Program.
This directive was given during a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (19) to formulate a policy framework for modernizing the agriculture sector.
President Wickremesinghe instructed the President’s Secretary to appoint additional secretaries from the President’s Office, Ministry of Agriculture, and other line ministries, along with officials of equivalent ranks, to serve in the Agricultural Modernization Secretariat. He emphasized the importance of involving the private sector in these activities.
The President highlighted that the armed forces are also contributing to the agricultural modernization program. He instructed officials to publicize the activities of the Agricultural Modernization Secretariat, which should include collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors. These activities will be based on research conducted in key areas such as tea, coconut, rubber, paddy, cinnamon, and fisheries.
President Wickremesinghe suggested implementing pilot projects in the respective fields, involving officials from local government institutions and the private sector, with the guidance and technical support of the public sector.
The President requested a progress report from the officials of the Agricultural Modernization Secretariat by July. Additionally, he advised submitting requests for required land to the Secretariat and proposed appropriate solutions.
President Wickremesinghe was briefed on the decisions made by the Agriculture Modernization Committee, led by Senior Professor Gamini Senanayake, on agricultural innovation projects. He emphasized the involvement of private sector academics, researchers, experienced officials, and the youth community in implementing these projects.
The President stressed the need to modernize all sectors, including plantation industries, fishing, fish production, ornamental flower cultivation, vegetable and fruit production, grain production, milk, and egg production.
Officials were instructed to keep the President informed about decisions made by sub-committees, chaired by Ministry Secretaries, involving the business community in relevant fields, as part of the agriculture sector modernization program, aimed at building a developed Sri Lanka by 2048.
The discussion was attended by Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff Sagala Ratnayake, Senior Advisor to the President on Economic Affairs Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga, President’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake, heads of government and private institutions related to the agriculture sector, and secretaries of relevant ministries.
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