The U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Climate Adaptation Project and CBL Group have signed an agreement to help thousands of smallholder farmers across three districts practice climate-smart agriculture.

Under a memorandum of understanding signed May 15, the project and the Colombo-based company will disseminate customized crop advisories and other agricultural inputs to more than 12,000 farmers in the Anuradhapura, Badulla, and Monaragala districts. The partnership will support climate-smart agriculture that improves the productivity of five of 15 priority crops identified by the Government of Sri Lanka’s economic revitalization program.

“The United States has been a strong partner with Sri Lanka for 75 years and as we go forward, USAID’s partnerships with the private sector will help to create sustainable economic growth and prosperity,” said USAID Mission Director Gabriel Grau.” As an example, this agreement with Ceylon Biscuits Limited improves farmers’ access to information to help them adapt to the impacts of climate change and will inspire like-minded businesses to advance climate-smart agriculture.”

“We take pride in leading transformation for our farmer network through technology and capacity building,” said Shea Wickramasingha, CBL Group Managing Director. “Boosting productivity and quality through sustainable agriculture practices that result in stable and improved farming livelihoods is key, to the sustainability of our operations and Sri Lanka’s food security. We are happy to partner USAID to facilitate knowledge transfer and climate best practice that will support the resilience of our farmer network and Sri Lanka’s agriculture sector.”

Ceylon Biscuits expects the customized, location – and crop-based advisories will benefit the business and farmers because it will allow farmers to make climate-smart decisions.

The agreement also complements the effort by USAID’s Climate Adaptation Project to establish a Climate Information Network in Sri Lanka. The project expects such a network to improve coordination and capacity among key stakeholders at the national, provincial, district, and division levels to provide customized, targeted climate information with improved frequency. Since farming decisions require consideration of other factors, the project will work with private sector agribusinesses to bundle climate information with other services, such as extension, input supply, technologies, and marketing, which are provided to farmers growing produce for Ceylon Biscuits Limited.

USAID’s five-year Climate Adaptation Project for Sri Lanka and Maldives enhances the capacities of the government, private sector, and local communities to respond and adapt to climate change in ways that contribute to sustained and inclusive market-based growth in agriculture, fisheries, and tourism.