Sri Lanka stares at food shortage, President asks for help

Colombo [Sri Lanka] December 31 (ANI): The critical situation of the currency crisis in Sri Lanka has resulted in political, economic and social turmoil. Further, this currency collapse has resulted in a rise in food prices by 100 per cent in two years. Amid all this, President Ranil Wickremesinghe has sought support, The Island Online reported.

In Sri Lanka around 40 per cent of households depend on agriculture. And two out of ten homes have suffered income reduction from June to December 2022. And to recover from the income reduction one out of two households use negative coping mechanisms like loans to cope with the lack of food or money to buy it, according to The Island Online English-language daily in Sri Lanka.

And in addition to this, the salaries and incomes in the country are not able to cope making it difficult to afford food. Further, The Island Online report states that in Sri Lanka it typically takes about two years to recover from a currency crisis.

“Immediate action to provide farmers with quality seeds, fertilisers and pesticides will enable them to protect their livelihoods and feed their communities. It is also critical to provide the most vulnerable farmers, livestock keepers and fishers with cash assistance to enable them to restore their productive assets and fast-track their recovery,” an FAO report said.

The production in agriculture saw a slump since mid-2021. As the country faces major shortages of fertilizers and other essential production inputs; livestock keepers cannot access feed and basic veterinary supplies, and fishermen cannot access fuel for motorised boats, The Island Online reported.

The Island Online quoted president Wickremesinghe who on December 16 this year requested support from everyone keeping aside political differences. He emphasized that everyone should forget their differences and dedicate themselves to building the country’s economy.

He said that “In the year 2023, there is a possibility of a food shortage. We started the food security program to deal with that. I suggest that a review of the implementation of this program be done again in each divisional secretariat. Here you can get new data. Accordingly, we are proceeding with the food security program in a formal manner. This program will not end after 2023. We will continue to do so. Local councils have representatives from each political party. But we all have to implement this program together,”, according to The Island Online report.

Wickremesinghe also mentioned that they have been able to provide fertilisers needed by the farmers. And with the success of the crop season, they have a surplus of rice. Although they had identified the problems like insufficient storage facilities.

“We are also working to solve those problems. At the same time, we have taken measures to control the price of paddy,” he added. These steps may result in the recovery of the country from food shortages and economic problems. (ANI)


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