In 2005, through the agricultural policy put in place through the Mahinda Chinthana, the Government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa took concrete steps to revive the agricultural sector and developed it once again to a position of strength and pride.
Almost 40 percent of Sri Lankans make their living from agriculture while the rest of the population depends on the agricultural sector for their day-to-day livelihood.
In earlier times, Sri Lanka had a proud agricultural tradition and history. However, the sector went into decline for decades primarily because of the terrorist war.
In 2005, through the agricultural policy put in place through the Mahinda Chinthana, the Government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa took concrete steps to revive the agricultural sector and developed it once again to a position of strength and pride. In this regard, a number of projects were launched.
To advise famers and to address their urgent problems, the “Govi Sahana Sarana” service was introduced in 2006. Any farmer in Sri Lanka with a land line or mobile phone had the ability to dial 1920 to talk to officials during office hours to get assistance. If the problems were too complex to be resolved over the phone, the service assured a response within 72 hours. This service also helped develop and maintain a database of queries, which enabled officials to identify current trends in Sri Lanka’s agricultural sector.
The “Api Wawamu Rata Nagamu” project, launched in 2007, aimed to create awareness about the benefits of individuals cultivating in their home gardens to make Sri Lanka self-sufficient in food production. Although home gardening is a fairly new trend in some parts of the world, here in Sri Lanka, the practice has been around for generations. The aim of this programme was to revive those age-old traditions while also enabling families to improve their food security and eat healthier.
National Awards for Excellence in Agricultural Research was introduced in 2011 to recognise and encourage scientists who conduct outstanding research in the field. Sri Lanka’s free education system often produce exceptional talent. The awards scheme hope to provide support to these researchers to become competitive with their international counterparts.