JICA partners with UNDP to procure Maize seeds for Maha Season | Daily News

JICA partners with UNDP to procure Maize seeds for Maha Season

Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, JICA Sri Lanka Office Chief Representative Yamada Tetsuya and UNDP in Sri Lanka Officer-in-Charge Malin Herwig together with Ministry of Agriculture, JICA and UNDP representatives at the ceremony.
Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, JICA Sri Lanka Office Chief Representative Yamada Tetsuya and UNDP in Sri Lanka Officer-in-Charge Malin Herwig together with Ministry of Agriculture, JICA and UNDP representatives at the ceremony.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Sri Lanka will procure a significant portion of maize seed requirements in Sri Lanka, targeting the Maha cultivation season. Maize is a staple input in the livestock feed industry and maize-based food items such as Thriposha and Samaposha, and the demand for seeds has swelled over recent years.

Sri Lanka is expected to face over a 60 per cent drop in crop production this Yala Season which will have an impact on farmers’ income, creating a cascading effect during the next Maha Season. However, due to shortages as a result of the country’s economic crisis, approximately 50% of the seed requirement is readily available to supplement the Maha Sason cultivation.

JICA Sri Lanka Office Chief Representative Yamada Tetsuya and UNDP in Sri Lanka Officer-in-Charge Malin Herwig signed the agreement in the presence of Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera with the participation of wider representatives from the partner organisations.

Highlighting JICA’s contribution towards food security needs JICA Sri Lanka Office Chief Representative Yamada Tetsuya said, “Currently, the supply chain of livestock and food production is affected by the shortage of the maize seeds, affecting the availability and affordability of some essential food items. This gives rise to nutritional concerns for the population, which we hope to resolve through the JICA’s collaborative assistance with the UNDP.”

JICA and UNDP will work with the Ministry of Agriculture to procure and supply approximately 200 MT (200,000 KG) of maize seeds to farmer organisations in the Dry Zone districts of Sri Lanka.

Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said he appreciates the support extended by the Japan International Cooperation Agency together with the United Nations Development Programme to boost the agriculture sector of our country. Our Government has launched a comprehensive programme to solve the food crisis in the country.

“Accordingly, we have prepared all the plans to carry out paddy cultivation on 800,000 hectares and maize cultivation on 60,000 hectares during this Maha Season. There was a problem in getting the maize seeds needed for this. We currently have maize seeds for about 58,000 hectares. I highly appreciate the step taken by you to provide 200 Metric tons of Maize seed on behalf of the Government,” the Minister said.

Commenting on the UNDP’s role in bringing together stakeholders and facilitating such processes in times of need, UNDP in Sri Lanka Officer-in-Charge Malin Herwig said,“the UNDP brings together stakeholders at a critical time to provide support with speed and transparency. Through procurement efforts such as this, the need of the hour can be addressed ahead of the season to reduce risk for food insecurity. We look forward to working closely with JICA counterparts in the timely supply of Maize to farmers in the Dry Zone.”

 


Add new comment