Monthly progress review meeting of institutions operating under the Ministry of Agriculture and State Ministries was held recently headed by Agriculture Minister MahindanandaAluthgamamge. Action Plans 2021 of 10 institutions involved in agriculture were discussed at this meeting.
State Minister Mohan de Silva, Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture Retd.Major General SumedhaPerera, State Ministry Secretaries and Heads of the relevant institutions including high ranking officials also joined the meeting.
“Monthly progress review meeting is held on first Wednesday of every month at which progress of the Department of Agriculture, Department of Agrarian Development, Paddy Marketing Board, Post Harvest Management Institute, National Fertilizer Secretaiat , Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research and Training Institute, Small Agri Holders Partnership Programme (SAPP), Agriculture Sector Modernization Project, Climate Adaptation Irrigated Project and Economic Centres were discussed.
The Minister MahindanandaAluthgamage instructed officials of the Department of Agriculture to work efficiently also giving priority to the national programme of making the country self-sufficient with 16 food crops. The Minister stressed thenecessity of working in Co-ordination with all institutions to save enormous amount of foreign exchange drain on importing essestial food crops such as potato, chillie& onion and also to protect both the farmer and the consumer. The Minister also emphasized that it would be the duty of the official to carry forward measures taken to increase production of seed potato and seed chillie in the practical way and for attainment of targets.
22% of the onion requirement is produced locally while the balance are being imported at an annual cost of Rs. 12-15 billion. Accordingly the target is to increase onion production by 35% in 2021, by 45% in 2022 and by 60% in 2023.
At this meeting the Minister stressed the necessity of taking decision based on accurate statistics, data and information. He requested all officials to work efficiently and give their fullest co-orperation to build the country through production economy by properly reaping benefits of on going foreign – funded projects operating under this Ministry.
The Ministry also instructed to implement a methodology to minimize damages to harvest from animals and reduce harvest losses during transpotation.
The largest allocation so far made in the history to purchase paddy is during this season. Assistance of all institutions involved should be given to make this endeavor a success. The Minister instructed officials to distribute fertilizer to farmers on time without inconveniencing the farmer within new fertilizer distribution methodology, organic fertilizer production and soil testing.
The Minister emphasized the necessity of making submissions at the monthly progress review and to be the same a reality on earth.