Country needs an overarching agriculture policy


The country needs an overarching agriculture policy that integrates all sub-sectors in agriculture such as annual food crops, perennial crops, export agricultural crops, livestock and poultry, fisheries, irrigation, agrarian development and environment, to achieve sustainable food security, said Professor, Weed Science, Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Buddhi Marambe.

He said any future policy change at sectoral (Ministry) level, should fall under this policy, to avoid domination of political whims and fancies. A more coherent link between the Government and the provincial set up is a must for successful policy implementation.The National Adoption Plan (NAP) launched by the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment (MMD&E) is being re-visited at provincial level. Nine provincial adaptation plans are being prepared. This is a good move by MMD&E, and will help achieve sustainable food security and development under changing and variable climatic conditions.
The Climate Change Secretariat of the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment launched the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) 2016-2025 to mitigate the impact of climate change.“The word self-sufficiency should be used cautiously. It is not that we need to be self-sufficient in all the food needs. Food security is what matters. It is important for us to focus on what we can do best. National priorities have to be set to achieve long-term food security, giving due consideration to vagaries in the climate. The sectoral policies in the country have failed to deliver goods at expected levels. We have always been good at policy formulation, but have failed in implementation,” Prof. Marambe said.
“The country is on a path to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030. Of the 17 SDGs, SDG-2 refers to ‘End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture’, while SDG-13 refers to ‘Climate action’. These two highlight the two daunting tasks in front of us,” Prof. Marambe said.