The Ministry of Agriculture has taken steps to establish an island-wide centralized information management system covering all agricultural information. A special discussion on the progress of this was held at the Ministry of Agriculture under the patronage of the Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage.
It includes information on all public and private sectors related to agriculture. The collection of information in the Hambantota and Vavuniya districts has already been completed and the relevant officials informed the Minister at this discussion that such activities are currently underway in several districts. Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage emphasized that this information system should be prepared with the responsibility of updating as well as factual information only.
The purpose of establishing this new centralized agricultural information system is to cover all agricultural information in a single information system. Such systems are in operation in many developed countries of the world and this is the first time such a well-equipped system has been developed in Sri Lanka. The Minister instructed that all the information pertaining to the institutions related to agriculture should be integrated into this centralized information system and considered as a national interest and prepared expeditiously. Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage requested that all information such as the distribution, use and application of fertilizer be added to this new Agricultural Information System. Also, all the information collected by the State Ministries relevant to the Ministry of Agriculture will be added to this centralized information system.
Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture Retired Major General Mr. Sumedha Perera who participated in the discussion said that a significant portion of the system preparation has already been completed. Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage pointed out that this centralized information system should be developed at the grassroots level, where the information from any place, to any farmer, farm, and information as well as information on crops grown in different climatic conditions could be accessible. The Minister pointed out that the assistance of scholars and experts should also be sought for this purpose and that most of them had expressed their willingness to support this project free of charge. The Minister said that this updated information system will be very important to provide a controlled price for to the farmers for their various crops grown island wide as well as a reasonable price to the consumers and to complete all the work by March. This should include information on farmers engaged in various agricultural cultivations in different parts of the island such as vegetables, not limited to major crops such as paddy. The Minister stressed to the officials that 100% accurate updates should be added into this system.