An Echelon Media Company
Thursday May 23rd, 2024

Sri Lanka must modernise agriculture, reorient towards growing export markets: president

ECONOMYNEXT — As Sri Lanka’s population declines, the island nation must modernise its agriculture and orient it towards emerging export markets whose own populations are on the rise, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

Speaking at an event, Wickremesinghe said a modernised agriculture is the means with Sri Lanka can become an export economy and lift rural communities out of poverty.

“Agriculture is what stabilises the economy. We can’t keep living on loans. That’s why we have decided to turn this country into an export economy. The cabinet on Monday approved the draft legislations needed for an export economy.

“Now we’re trying to modernise agriculture and go for an export industry. That needs to be done. Agriculture is the way to eliminate poverty in our villages. For this, we need a modern agriculture,” he said.

The president predicted that by 2048, Sri Lanka’s population will have declined by about one million, though a population boom of nearly one billion could be expected in neighbouring regions, from Africa to Indonesia.

“They will have to be fed, and food will have to be supplied to a strong middle class in those regions. That’s going to be our market. We must get ready for that,” said Wickremesinghe.

“We sell tea to Europe now, and that’s good, but population is declining in Europe too. So we must move to new places, and cultivate. It’s not the traditional plantation that we’re expecting. We want to develop a new agribusiness,” he said.

In February this year, President Wickremesinghe said Sri Lanka needs to adopt modern agriculture techniques and involve the private sector to develop the sector.

“Our first step is to restructure the existing system and involve the private sector,” Wickremesinghe said at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s 37th Asia and Pacific Conference in Colombo on February 20.

“When assessing our economy, agriculture emerges as a sector capable of delivering swift results,” Wickremesinghe said. “We are endeavouring to transform agrarian service centres nationwide into modernization hubs for agriculture. To achieve this goal, we are actively seeking contributions from both the public and private sectors.” (Colombo/May15/2024)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sri Lanka has power breakdowns amidst extreme weather

ECONOMYNEXT – The state-owned power utility, the Ceylon Electricity Board has reported over 36,900 breakdowns resulting in power interruptions to more than 300,000 consumers in the last three days due to inclement weather in the island, the power minister said.

“Additional service staff has been assigned to attend the breakdowns and the CEB management & service staff are working 24 hours to restore power to the affected consumers,” Minister of Power and Energy, Kanchana Wijesekera said on social media platform X (twitter).

Wijesekera said consumers could report power interruptions through the CEB hotline 1987, via SMS to 1987 with BD and the electricity consumer number to follow, or use the CEB Care app, or through http://cebcare.ceb.lk.

The South-East monsoon has seen floods, landslides and strong winds do damage to the utility provider’s infrastructure in the last week. (Colombo/May23?2024)

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka President calls for unity, sacrificing for a better tomorrow on Vesak day

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe has recalled a sermon from the Buddha about sacrificing for a better tomorrow, and called for unity to heal and rebuild the country, as Buddhists celebrate Vesak.

Buddhists celebrate Vesak as commemorating the birth, enlightenment and passing away of the Buddha.

“At this challenging moment, we as a nation should cultivate the same great zeal for enlightenment that Buddha exemplified, inspired by his sermon, “Maththasukha parichchaga- passé che vipulan sukhan” – to sacrifice today for a better tomorrow,” President Wickremesinghe said in his Vesak day message.

“We must remember the advice of Lord Buddha, “Sabbattha Sammanaso,” to treat everyone equally and ensure we put it into practice as a country. This is the greatest offering we can present to the Buddha on this Vesak day.

“Regardless of race, religion, caste, or political affiliation, we must all unite to heal and rebuild our country. ”

The full statement is reproduced below:

The Vesak festival is a profoundly sacred day for Buddhists worldwide, commemorating the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and passing. Buddhists in Sri Lanka, along with their brethren around the globe, celebrate Vesak with deep devotion. They spend this period engaging in religious observances and venerating the Buddha with fervent devotion.

At this challenging moment, we as a nation should cultivate the same great zeal for enlightenment that Buddha exemplified, inspired by his sermon, “Maththasukha parichchaga- passé che vipulan sukhan” – to sacrifice today for a better tomorrow.

We must remember the advice of Lord Buddha, “Sabbattha Sammanaso,” to treat everyone equally and ensure we put it into practice as a country. This is the greatest offering we can present to the Buddha on this Vesak day. Regardless of race, religion, caste, or political affiliation, we must all unite to heal and rebuild our country. The principles of Lichchavi Raja Dharmaya will guide us in this endeavour.

Let us keep in mind that the primary aim of the Vesak festival is to foster spiritual growth and character development in a world rapidly advancing physically. I wish everyone a blessed Vesak festival.

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka to host foreign artistes, Sigiriya fashion show to promote tourism

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka plans to bring down international artistes, and hold water festivals to boost tourists, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Chairman, Chalaka Gajabahu said.

“We will be hosting a few international artists in September to December,” Gajabahu told EconomyNext.

“We would also be having a fashion show in Sigiriya.”

Sri Lanka is targeting 2.3 million tourists in the year 2024 with expectations that it may go up to 2.5 million Gajabahu said.

Sri Lanka is also planning on having a water festival in coastal towns such as Trincomalee, Arugambay  and Kalpitiya in order to showcase Sri Lanka’s capacity for watersports, Gajabahu said. (Colombo/May22/2024)

Continue Reading