The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) agrees that the Small Scale Agri- business Entrepreneurship Participation Program (SAPP) under the Ministry of Agriculture will provide the necessary support for the cultivation of 16,000 hectares of maize in Sri Lanka in the next Maha season.

Mrs. SHERINA TABASSUM, the country representative and director of the Asian and Pacific region of the IFAD, met with the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera on June 13 and discussed the related project.

16,000 hectares have been selected for the ongoing maize cultivation project with the aim of increasing animal feed production in the country. Accordingly, the maize project will be started in the next Maha season, reaching Anuradhapura, Hambantota, Monaragala, Polonnaruwa and Ampara districts.

The project will provide high quality hybrid seeds, chemical fertilizers, land preparation facilities and non-repayable financial facilities to selected maize farmers.

Mrs. Sherina Tabassum also stated that according to a proposal made by the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera, the necessary support will be given to this project of cultivating 16,000 hectares of maize.

It was also agreed in this discussion to provide the necessary support for the development of livestock development in the country from next year. The necessary financial allocations are to be provided under the SMALLHOLDER AGRIBUSINESS AND RESILIENCE PROJECT – SARP program, which is a new foreign-funded project under the Ministry of Agriculture.

On this occasion, the Acting Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture Mrs. Menaka P. Abeyratne, Additional Secretary Mrs. Latheesha P. Liyanage, Director of SAPP Project, Dr. Yasanta Mapatuna and others participated.