The World Bank has agreed to extend the aid for the agriculture sector modernization project in Sri Lanka for another 18 months. Led by John Kayser, the World Bank delegation, including agro-economist Mrs. Karishma Wash and senior operations officer Asela Dissanayake, recently visited Sri Lanka to discuss the project with Minister of Agriculture, Mahinda Amaraweera.
The minister requested the World Bank delegation to continue the project, which has significantly contributed to the agricultural sector via modernization. The World Bank has agreed to provide an amount of US$30 million to maintain the project for another 18 months from May this year.
Under this project, agricultural sector modernization model villages will be started in all 25 districts, targeting different types of crops. Also, aiming at exports, a sour banana model village in Jaffna, and two Cavendish banana projects in Batticaloa and Sevanagala areas will be started. The Agriculture Sector Modernization Project has already planned to start these activities in May.
The minister emphasized that the project is already very successful in obtaining more yield from minimum land area, planting crops according to international standards, producing according to world market standards, and familiarizing farmers with new technology. Mr. John Kayser, the team leader of the World Bank delegation, expressed his support for increasing agricultural production by using modern technology instead of traditional agriculture in Sri Lanka.
The discussion was attended by Mr. Gunadasa Samarasinghe, Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Rohan Wijekoon, Director of the Agriculture Sector Modernization Project, and others.