FAO planning food response for Sri Lanka | Daily News

FAO planning food response for Sri Lanka

The UN food agency would be drafting a food crisis response plan for Sri Lanka amidst threats of a food shortage in the country due to its worst economic crisis.

The response of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations came after Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had warned of a food crisis in the island due to the ongoing economic crisis.

The Premier had explained to both the FAO and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) the threat of a food shortage and a food security programme which is being compiled by Agriculture Department officials. This programme is due to be unveiled next month, with the UNDP expressing support for the initiative. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said that the biggest issue currently facing the agriculture sector is the fertiliser and fuel shortage.

The Prime Minister also elaborated on the urban agriculture initiative that he had established to try and overcome a potential food shortage.

The UNDP explained that they were compiling an innovative farming assistance programme which would help the farming community overcome the fertiliser shortage.

The FAO said that donors had stepped forward to assist the country in the urban agriculture programme, and was hopeful that a successful implementation would see more financial support.

Wickremesinghe explained that within five to six months, the current agriculture shortages could be salvaged if swift action was taken to address the shortages faced by the farmers.

Sri Lanka faces the threat of crop losses by 50 percent due to the erroneous policy decision taken by the Government to deny the use of chemical fertiliser.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa banned the importation of chemical fertiliser, pesticides and weedicides to introduce a green agriculture policy. (The Hindu)

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