Economy should be revived prioritizing agro sector – President
Posted on April 20th, 2020

Courtesy Adaderana

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is considering the idea of creating a new mechanism to purchase, store and distribute agro products by combining all districts in the country, stated President’s Media Division.

Making observations during a meeting with the District Secretaries held at the Presidential Secretariat today (20), the President emphasized that government agents should take this mechanism forward.

President commended the cooperation extended by the District Secretaries for the success of measures taken to control the spread of COVID-19. 

The fact that those who are identified as infected on a daily basis are either from quarantine centers or from isolated areas is a testimony to the success of the efforts of combating the virus, President pointed out.

The Government is gradually easing curfew restrictions in order to restore normalcy in civilian life with the aim of economic revival. 

The national economy has to be strengthened while giving priority to the agriculture sector to achieve this objective, said the President. 

Further, attention should be paid to develop indigenous industries and other production sectors at the district level, the President said. President also emphasized the necessity of encouraging entrepreneurs by providing necessary assistance.

Attention was also drawn to the importance of establishing an institute similar to Fisheries Corporation to purchase agro products, according to the PMD. It has been agreed to formulate a practical methodology to promote recommendations of the researches conducted by the Post-Harvest Institute among the public and the farmers and their implementation. 

Given the prevailing situation, many tend to sell agro products purchased from farmers directly to the customers. Government agents, pointing out benefits of this system, said this has helped both the farmer and the consumer. They also emphasized the importance of developing a legal structure to strengthen this process.

They also pointed out the necessity of setting up cold rooms and storages.

The importance of encouraging farmers to cultivate uncultivated lands with the support of security forces and prison inmates and cultivating other crops in close proximity to paddy fields was also discussed at the meeting.

Increasing rubber production, promotion of local industries including textile, dairy products and the development of several other sectors were discussed in length.

Secretary to the President P. B. Jayasundera, Secretary to the Prime Minister Gamini Senarath, Cabinet Secretary S. Amarasekara, Secretary to the Ministry of Finance S. R. Attygalle, Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration S. Hettiarachchi, Secretary to the Ministry of Health Bhadrani Jayawardene, Army Commander Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva and Acting IGP C. D. Wickramarathna were also present.

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