The World Bank has agreed to extend the aid for the agriculture sector modernization project implemented to introduce new technology to the agriculture sector in Sri Lanka for another 18 months.
The World Bank delegation that visited Sri Lanka recently led by John Kayser, agro-economist Mrs. Karishma Wash and senior operations officer Asela Dissanayake, discussed the project with the Minister of Agriculture, Mahinda Amaraweera.
The Minister requested the World Bank delegation to continue on with this project as this project has significantly contributed to the agricultural sector via modernization project.
Accordingly, the World Bank delegation has agreed to provide an amount of US$ 30 million to maintain this project for another 18 months from May this year.
Under this, agricultural sector modernization model villages will be started in all the 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 the month of May.
Like the Rajanganaya Sour Banana project, another cultivation project has been planned targeting Embilipitiya and Hambantota areas.
The minister emphasized in this discussion that while introducing new technology to agriculture, 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, expressing his views emphasized that he will give his maximum support to increase agricultural production by using modern technology instead of traditional agriculture in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka counts down to IMF bailout seen as ‘just the beginning’
Sri Lanka is counting the minutes to Monday, when the International Monetary Fund’s executive board is expected to approve a $2.9 billion bailout for the bankrupt island nation.
For the first time in months, many are hopeful that the IMF’s decision will kick-start the country’s recovery from its worst economic crisis since independence from Britain in 1948.
Faced with deepening poverty under high inflation, scarce foreign reserves and dire shortages of essentials, Sri Lanka is on the cusp of the bailout after China offered additional financing “assurances” required by the fund, following months of tough negotiations.
Beijing’s apparent hesitance to extend support drew comparisons to a more obliging India. But Sri Lanka’s ambassador to China, Palitha Kohona, strongly defended the country’s key bilateral lender, telling Nikkei Asia.
The Chinese bureaucracy works according to its own rhythm.” Experts stress just how crucial the final IMF approval is for stabilizing Sri Lanka’s economy, after the turmoil that brought down President Gotabaya Rajapaksa last year.