The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the United Nations Development Program(UNDP) has agreed to supply Sri Lanka with USD 1.8 million worth of hybrid maize seeds.
The Ministry of Agriculture noted that such agreement was made with the aim of increasing maize cultivation in Sri Lanka.
“The production of liquid milk, eggs and poultry meat has decreased due to the lack of corn, especially for the preparation of animal feed and triposha. Due to the ban on the use of chemical fertilisers, the production of maize in the last Maha and Yala seasons has drastically dropped and owing to this, there is a risk of food security and nutritional conditions in Sri Lanka collapsing,” the Ministry noted.
Taking these factors into account, the Ministry of Agriculture has taken steps to increase maize cultivation in the 2022/23 season and the expanse of land registered for maize cultivation in the Department of Agricultural Development is 125,000 hectares, they said adding however that maize seeds currently available in the country are enough only for 75,000 hectares.
Minister of Agriculture, Mahinda Amaraweera, said negotiations took place to procure the seeds for the remaining 50,000 hectares and accordingly, JICA and UNDP agreed to supply the said requirement of seeds for maize cultivation.