Addressing the 35th session of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Asia-Pacific Regional Conference (APRC), Minister of Agriculture Honorable Mahindananda Aluthgamage emphasized the importance in promoting the sustainable agriculture through innovations and including digital agricultural solutions.He further stressed the need to provide and expand access to modern technologies and innovations to increase productivity in the agricultural sector.The Minister said that establishing strong food systems and increasing the adaptive capacity of the agricultural sector to resist climate change and promoting the wise use of natural resources are also essential.
Honorable Aluthgamage, who headeda Sri Lankan delegation to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Asia and Pacific Regional Conference, said Sri Lanka and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have had strong partnerships since the time when Sri Lanka became a member of the World Food and Agriculture Organization in 1948 and existing such strong partnership was appreciated.He said that the technical and the advisory assistance of the World Food and Agriculture Organization (WFP) has been instrumental in transforming Sri Lanka's agricultural sector from a subsistence sub-sector to a dynamic income-generating one, which is an important pillar of the national economy.
The Sri Lanka mission of delegation which focused on the problems currently faced in the agricultural sector in Sri Lanka such as inadequate profit margins of small-scale farmers, lack of proper insurance scheme for the farmers, existing disproportions in agrochemical management and inability to predict changes in agro-cultivation seasons. The World Food and Agriculture Organization (WFO) was expected hereto extend itscontinuous support for technology, policy and other initiatives in these areas.
Addressing the Asia-Pacific Regional Conference, Mr. Ku Dong-yu, the Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said that the time has come to make the most of the digital age through innovative partnerships by joining national governments, farmers, and private sectors, intellectuals, NGOs and many other stakeholders.
The World Food and Agriculture Organization will work to activate and strengthen these partnerships further.
These initiatives which are evidence-based, guided by relevant country matching to its context and holding the proprietorship by the same, aim to transform the agricultural sector and accelerate the sustainable rural development to eradicate poverty, hunger and all forms of malnutrition.
"The priority will be given in these programs to the countries whose national capacity and international support received for itexist in a limited condition or facing major challenges, including natural or man-made crises," said the Director-General of the World Food and Agriculture Organization.
The World Food and Agriculture Organization's Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific (APRC) is a forum to discuss current priorities in the region and their countries, as well as the impact of COVID 19, the status of agriculture, natural resource management, food security and its nutrition. This is a great opportunity to highlight partnerships, innovative and digital technologies that help to improve food security and nutrition across the region, as well as to raisethe issues related to the regional and global policy, and the regulation.
Delegates from 46 member countries attended this conference commencing from on the 01st of September of this year and continued throughout four-days through online video session amid the outbreak of the Covid 19 epidemic and related public health issues. More than 400 delegates attended the Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting hosted by the Royal Government of Bhutan.