Sri Lankan rice production wins support from UN-backed project

4 September 2008 – The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced plans today to boost rice production in districts of Sri Lanka hit hard by recent floods or conflict and by the soaring cost of many basic foods.

Under the $500,000 project, families in four districts of north-central and eastern Sri Lanka – Batticaloa, Ampara, Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura – will receive certified seed paddy and small implements so they can increase their rice production.

Some 600 metric tons of seed paddy will be distributed in a bid to bring immediate support to rice production, according to a press release issued by FAO in the capital, Colombo.

“From this initiative, about 6,000 hectares of former paddy lands will be renovated and overall rice production of these four districts will be increased,” said the agency’s representative in Sri Lanka, Patrick Evans.

FAO said the project is part of its global campaign to help poor people in developing countries deal with the impact of high food prices over the past year. The agency is currently engaged in supporting food production in 35 countries.

Sri Lanka also continues to be beset by violent clashes, particularly in the north, between Government forces and members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and UN officials have issued grave warnings about the humanitarian impact of the fighting.


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