The Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said that officers from all over the country have come together today to rebuild the country and move towards a land that is self-sufficient in food.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the headquarters building of the National Association of Agricultural Research Officers at Thalapathpitiya, Maharagama today (25), he stressed that everyone has to express gratitude to the Agricultural Research Officers for their untiring effort to make ensure food security in the country. “To make our country self-sufficient in food and rice, the agricultural research officers are traveling through villages across the country. They were the ones who enabled us to add new approaches, explore the best practices, identify problems in farming and work with the farmers for solutions,” he said.
“In 1983, all the lands around here were taken to the government through a single gazette. This paddy field has a history since the days of the king. There was a time when these fields were abandoned from cultivations. It was the Agricultural Research Officers who supported the re-harvesting of the fallow land. They worked with the farmers introducing new methods with a lot of innovative new improvements and resources”, Prime Minister commented.
“A conference was held in San Francisco, America, on the issue of imposing reparations on Japan after the Second World War. The then Minister of Finance of Sri Lanka J. R. Jayewardene, in his address stated that "We don’t want to take revenge from anyone. World War II is over. Let’s rebuild our countries together". This statement could divert Japan’s foreign policy in favour towards Sri Lanka.
Accordingly, when Mr. JR Jayawardena became the President, the Japanese government said that they would provide all possible support to Sri Lanka for the helping hand offered to Japan. The hospital on the other side was built accordingly with Japanese assistance. Later, many projects in Sri Lanka including the Youth Service Council in this area were implemented by Japan as a sign gratitude”.
The Prime Minister in his speech declared that Japan was a country that promotes rice cultivation even under harsh conditions in order to protect farmers. Japan uses advanced farming methods as well as safe methods to protect farmers. Japan has reached a very advanced stage in terms of agriculture as a result.
“As the government has a close affinity with the farmers, it is determined to make the country self-sufficient in food. The trust has been placed on the farmers that they would lead the country out of the dilemma we face today”.
Many officials including Agricultural Services Commissioner General A. H. M. L Abeyratne participated in this event.