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Sri Lanka and IRRI sign framework to boost rice sector

Staff Writer | January 19, 2019
The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Sri Lanka inked a comprehensive work plan to advance Sri Lanka's rice self-sufficiency goals through joint research for development projects in the next five years.
Sri Lanka rice field
Asia   Sri Lanka rice field
The Sri Lanka-IRRI five-year work plan will complement and help implement the new Sri Lanka National Plan for the Rice Sector, according to an IRRI statement.

It said the plan will serve as the framework for joint collaborative research for development pipeline projects aimed to enhance the resilience and viability of Sri Lanka's national rice sector.

The work plan will focus on developing high-yielding and climate resilient rice varieties with multiple tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses, genomics-based breeding technologies, nutritious and value-added rice, capacity building, and mechanization, among others.

The project proponents also plan to promote more robust seed systems, and sustainable farm management practices.

"Sri Lanka's rice sector has been challenged by the increasing impacts of climate change; stagnation in yield growth; high production and labor costs; low private sector investment; and poor mechanization and technology adoption among its farmers," the statement said.

According to the IRRI, Sri Lanka has been badly affected by extreme weather events recently. In 2017, as a result of floods and droughts in different parts of the south Asian country, there was a shortfall of 44 percent in the amount of rice needed by the country.