Innovation in Agriculture in not a novel concept to Sri Lanka. In fact I represent the area that witnessed the birth of our rich agricultural heritage at a time positioning Sri Lanka as the granary of eastern world with sophisticated technology for their time. However we should always adapt to the changing trends to survive within the competitive consumerism global markets in the contemporary context. Agriculture Sector Modernization Project is actually attempting to serve that purpose which is timely and a crucial need in the agricultural sector.
The significance of the program is that its addressing some of the key challenges such as increasing productivity, improving marketing opportunities, we are faced today, enhancing value addition, diversifying productions and promoting research and development aiming drastic innovations in agro-technology as well as end products. It is also planned that these are achieved without compromising the national priorities such as securing self-sufficiency and improving income generation and living standards of the farmers. I believe this modernizing project will bring more job opportunities for our farming communities that could shift from more labour intense employment to technology intense work.
This will definitely help us to retain the agricultural sector as preferred choice of employment among young generation also allowing us to deviating from merely providing subsidies to facilitating for innovative investments that could win the global markets. This project is a stepping-stone envisaging a prosperous future for a modernised technology based agricultural sector that could ensure food security for the country withstanding any unforeseen climatic, economic or social crisis. It will also assist us to become a leading nation in agricultural exports addressing the modern market demands and aspirations retaining the glory we held in ancient times.
We also need to understand that this could only be achieved with strong partnerships with policy makers, technology innovators, investors and financing bodies representing both public and private sectors. I appreciate the effort of all stakeholders, dedicated for the success of this project envisioning a prosperous future for the agricultural sector of Sri Lanka. I take this opportunity to convey my heartfelt wishes for the Agriculture Sector Modernization Project at this historical moment of its inauguration.
Minister of Agriculture