‘More research in agriculture needed to feed the people’ | Daily News

‘More research in agriculture needed to feed the people’

Minister Mahinda Amaraweera presents an award at the event.
Minister Mahinda Amaraweera presents an award at the event.

There is a need to increase the research conducted by the Agriculture Department in relation to all crops including paddy, said Agriculture, Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation Minister Mahinda Amaraweera.

The Agriculture Department has been able to supply only 20 percent of the required quality of paddy seeds for cultivation. In order to increase the rice yield in the country, that percentage needs to be increased further. The majority of farmers in our country are still cultivating the rice they get from their fields, he said.

The Minister expressed these views while addressing the 2022 Annual Agricultural Conference (ASDA – Annals of the Sri Lanka Department of Agriculture) organized by the Agriculture Department in Gannoruwa recently. This agricultural conference was held under the theme ‘Seed the Land – Feed the Nation’.

The Agriculture Minister presented several awards such as Best Agronomist, Best New Agronomist of the Year, Best Research Paper and Distinguished Agronomist of the Year.

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

“We know that with the failure of the 2021 season, we are facing a major food crisis. The responsibility of providing food to the people of the country is assigned to the Agriculture Ministry and the Agriculture Department. With the current food crisis in the country, that responsibility has increased,” the Minister said.

The Department of Agriculture is conducting research on crops that can yield higher yields. But I say that 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 benefit greatly from the knowledge of those scientists and researchers, Minister Amaraweera said.

“At the 2022 Annual Agricultural Conference, several of our researchers will be honoured for their groundbreaking research. We as a country can be happy about the research done by all of them,” the Minister said.

“Whenever you retire from this service, you will feel happy not by reminiscing about the positions you held or the wealth you earned. You can enjoy true happiness only by remembering your service to the country. We know that the names of the agronomists who introduced certain crops in our country that give high yields are still mentioned. Their research has helped to quench the hunger of our people today. Government servants who have done something with good intentions for the country will never retire from the hearts of the people. Therefore, I request all of you to dedicate yourself and work further for the people of the country,” Minister Amaraweera said.

 


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