ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will get maize seeds for the next cultivation season supported by the Japan International Co-operation Agency where farmers are expected to grow around 60,000 hectares of the crop.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in the partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will help procure a “significant portion” of the maize seeds requirement of Sri Lanka for the next main (Maha) cultivation season.
In the current Yala season maize cultivation has dropped 60 percent.
“We currently have maize seeds for about 58,000 hectares. I highly appreciate this step taken by you to provide 200 Metric tons of Maize seed on behalf of the Government,” Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said.
Maize is mainly used for poultry feed in Sri Lanka.
“Currently, the supply chain of livestock and food production is affected by shortage of the maize seeds, affecting the availability and affordability of some essential food items, and giving rise to nutritional concerns for the population,” Yamada Tetsuya, chief representative of JICA in Sri Lanka said.
An agreement on the program was signed by YAMADA Tetsuya, the chief representative of JICA Sri Lanka Office Malin Herwig, Officer-in-Charge, UNDP in Sri Lanka in the presence of Hon. Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister of Agriculture.
Sri Lanka plans to grow 60,000 hectares in this Maha season.
JICA and UNDP will work with the Ministry of Agriculture to procure and supply approximately 200 metric tonnes maize seeds to farmer organizations in the dry zone districts of Sri Lanka.