JICA, UNDP Agree To Supply 200 Tonnes Of Seed Maize For Maha Cultivation As Aid
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) yesterday jointly agreed to supply 200 metric tonnes of seed maize next Maha season.
Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that JICA and the UNDP together with the aim of increasing the cultivation of maize here, would provide hybrid maize seeds worth USD 1.8 million.
During the discussion held yesterday (13) at the United Nations Office in Colombo the entire consignment was agreed to be given as aid.
On this occasion, JICA’s representative in Sri Lanka, Yamada Tetsuya and representative of UNDP’s Sri Lanka Office Malin Herwig and Additional Secretaries of the Ministry of Agriculture Gamini Samarasinghe and Ajanta de Silva and Director General of Agriculture P. Malathi participated.
JICA’s representative in Sri Lanka, Mr. Tetsuya emphasized that the livestock and animal production chain in Sri Lanka has been broken due to the shortage of maize. Therefore, JICA and UNDP together emphasized that this seed maize will be provided to raise the nutritional status of the people of Sri Lanka.
Head of the UNDP office Ms. Herwig said that at this critical time, steps will be taken to provide this assistance to Sri Lanka in a more efficient and transparent manner.
She mentioned that steps will be taken to provide these maize seeds to the farmers growing the crop in the dry zone of Sri Lanka within the stipulated time.
The Minister said that the production of liquid milk, eggs and poultry meat has decreased due to the lack of stocks of corn, especially for the preparation of animal feed and triposha.
“Prices are rising. Due to the ban on the use of chemical fertilizers, the production of maize in the last Maha season was down to 90,000 tonnes, this Yala maize crop has dropped by as much as 60%. Because of this, there is a risk of food security and nutritional conditions in Sri Lanka collapsing,” he added.
He also said that taking these facts into account, the Ministry of Agriculture has taken steps to increase maize cultivation in the 2022/23 season, and the amount of land registered for maize cultivation in the Department of Agricultural Development is 125,000 hectares. But maize seeds are currently available in the country enough for 50,000 hectares.
The Department of Agriculture has enough seeds for 10,000 hectares, and with this assistance 75,000 hectares will be cultivated with maize.
The Minister also said that the Negotiations have already started with various organizations to procure the seeds for the remaining 50,000 hectares.