India and Sri Lanka are working together to strengthen collaboration in the areas of agriculture and animal husbandry.

As a part of that , the Work Plan for the years 2017-19 between the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the Sri Lanka Council of Agricultural Research Policy (SLCARP) signed under the MOU on cooperation in the field of Agricultural Research and Education has been extended till December 2020, the Indian High Commission said.

The Work Plan includes training / study visits / collaborative research projects etc. in the areas of Agriculture machinery, Seed Technology, crop production improvement techniques, Post-Harvest Technology, Plant Genetic Conservation and exchange of germplasms, Pest Control, Biotechnology, ICT for Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture etc.

Under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) capacity building Programme, Sri Lankan officials/ Scientists have participated in short-term trainings in the areas of Sustainable Agricultural Strategies for Rural Development and Fertilizer Quality Control.

In this regard, Dr. Sushil Kumar, First Secretary (Technical Cooperation) of the Indian High Commission recently visited National Livestock Development Board (NLDB) Cattle Farm in Polonnaruwa and National Institute of Post-Harvest Management (NIPHM), Anuradhapura.

At the NLDB, a meeting was organized with the support of the Chairman Dr. M.P.S. Magamage.  Dr. Sushil Kumar met Mr. A.P.Sumansiri, Deputy Chairman, NLDB, and Mr. A.M.P.A. Adikari, General Manager of the farm and discussed bilateral collaboration for the improvement of livestock to increase milk productivity.

Dr. Kumar also visited National Institute of Post Harvest Management (NIPHM), Anuradhapura recently.

A meeting with Scientist and Engineers was organized with the support of Chairman of NIPHM Prof. W.A.P. Weerakkody. NIPHM focuses on research on processing of Paddy seeds, Sesame and post-harvest processing of Mango, Banana and Papaya fruits.

During the meeting both sides discussed cooperation in training/capacity building of Engineers/Scientists of Sri Lanka working in post-harvest technology viz. grain storage systems, value addition technologies for tuber crops, Spice processing technologies etc. Eng. D.M.S.P. Bandara, Eng. Ruwanka and Eng. Bandara Dissanayake and many researchers were also present during the meeting.