Agriculture Minister Encourages Expansion of Agricultural Research to Achieve Higher Yields

Agriculture Minister Encourages Expansion of Agricultural Research to Achieve Higher Yields

Wednesday, September 28, 2022, 12:44 p.m. SL time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

September 28, Colombo: The Minister of Agriculture, Wildlife and Forestry Conservation, Mahinda Amaraweera, says that since the responsibility of providing food to the people of the country has been given to the Department of Agriculture and the Ministry of Agriculture, it is necessary to develop agricultural research that can achieve higher yields.

He noted that the Ministry of Agriculture has only been able to provide 20 percent of the quality seeds required for cultivation and that in order to increase rice yield, this percentage needs to be further increased.

The minister said majority of the farmers in the country are still growing the same paddy that they get from their fields.

Therefore, there is a need to increase research by the Department of Agriculture with respect to all crops including paddy, the Minister of Agriculture said at the 2022 Annual Agricultural Conference hosted by the Department of Agriculture held recently in Gannoruwa.

This agricultural conference was held under the theme “Sowing the soil – Feeding the nation”.

The Minister of Agriculture also presented several prizes such as new discoveries in the research directions of the ministry, best new agronomist of the year, best agronomist, best research dissertation, distinguished agronomist of the year, best contribution to the farming, etc.

A large number of people including Minister of State for Agriculture Mohan Silva, Secretary of Ministry of Agriculture Rohana Pushpakumara, Director General of Agriculture Dr. Ajantha de Silva attended this event.

Speaking further, Minister Amaraweera said, “We know that with the failure of the 2021 season, we are facing a major food crisis. The responsibility for providing food to the people of the country is entrusted to the Ministry of Agriculture and the Department of Agriculture. But with the current food crisis in the country, this responsibility has increased.

“The Ministry of Agriculture conducts research on crops that can give higher yields. But I say we should follow the example of countries like Thailand, Malaysia and Japan. We have many researchers who have vast knowledge in the field of agriculture. The country can greatly benefit from the knowledge of these scientists and researchers.

“At the 2022 Annual Agricultural Conference, several of our researchers will be honored for their groundbreaking research. As a country, we can be happy with the research work done by each of them.

“Every time you retire from this service, you will feel happy not by reminiscing about the positions you have held or the wealth you have earned. You can only enjoy true happiness by remembering your service to the country.

“We know that the names of agronomists who introduced certain agricultural crops in our country which give high yields are still mentioned in our country. Their research has helped quench the hunger of our people today.

“Government officials who have done something with good intentions for the country will never withdraw from the hearts of the people. Therefore, I ask all of you to dedicate yourselves and work more for the people of the country,” the minister said.

The main guest lecture of this conference was delivered by Dr. Kazuo Ogataa from Kyushu University, Japan.

Lana T. Arthur