High agri product yield cost hampers competitiveness - Dr Amunugama | Daily News

High agri product yield cost hampers competitiveness - Dr Amunugama

Minister Dr. Amunugama presenting a special appreciation award to the Sri Lanka School of Agriculture Past Student’s Association President, Rohitha Nanayakkara. Picture by Saliya Rupasinghe

The production cost of Sri Lankan agri products compared to yields in other countries is one of the highest in Asia, Special Projects Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama said.

Speaking at the 100th anniversary celebrations of the Sri Lanka School of Agriculture in Peradeniya he said that due to this Sri Lanka agri products are losing its global competitiveness.

"Sri Lankan agri sector should look at hybrid seeds and new technology to increase production."

The Minister said that Asia will soon emerge as a region that accounts for one of the highest populated areas and will have a very rich middle class.

"This means more mouths to feed and the demand for agriculture will increase. To meet this future demand, Sri Lanka should be ready with higher production from agriculture for the export sector."

He said that he was sad to note that the then Ceylonese Agri Research Centre, one of the biggest in Asia was copied by Philippines and today it has one of the biggest Agri R&D centers in the world. "However though there are many Agri based research centers today in Sri Lanka, the R&D in his

segment is at a low ebb. This the main reason for low Agri yields in production."

Minister said that Sri Lanka today has made some progress in the agriculture field as the country is self sufficient in rice, maize and some 'minor crops'. "This is commendable, but yields should further improve and Sri Lanka should look at 'more marketable products' like Basmati rice which is still being imported."

Secretary to the President, P. B. Abeykoon was the Chief Guest. 

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