Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena said that the National Economic Council expects to take immediate steps to stop importing all non-essential food items, as well as unhealthy food into the country.
He made these remarks at the opening of the Agricultural Exhibition held at the Training Institute of Department of Agriculture in Bombuwala, Kalutara.
Addressing the gathering, Sirisena further said that more than Rs 25 billion rupees is spent annually to import essential food items. President Sirisena said that it is essential to produce food required for our consumption in our own country. He pointed out that self-sufficiency in food was the identity and the culture of our country for the past thousands of years and it should be protected. He also said it is important that we give value to our products, if we are to help the agriculture economy as well as the national economy.
The battle of National food production will commence next month, to make a new transformation in the agricultural sector in Sri Lanka, while minimizing the loss incurred due to the recent drought and floods that affected the country, reducing the agricultural production. The relevant circulars and instruction leaflets have already been issued to all institutions, Sirisena added.
Furthermore, under the battle of National food production program, it is expected to cultivate all the lands in the public and private sectors, and the government will take steps to encourage those who are cultivating and to take legal action against those who do not cultivate, the President said that adding he believe that everyone will join hands together in this initiative considering it as a humanitarian operation to eliminate poverty from the country, but not in a way imposing legal actions or constitutional law.