Food security as important as national security – Agriculture Ministry Secretary


Food security as important as national security – Agriculture
Ministry Secretary

Food security is as important as national security and hence Sri
Lanka has laid the foundation for development of the agriculture sector
which depends on natural resource base of soil water and climate, said
Agriculture Ministry Secretary K.E.Karunathilake participating in the
10th International Conference on the East and Southeast Asia Federation
of Soil and Soil Science Society(ESAFS) which was held Monday at the
Cinnamon Lake Side Hotel Colombo.

The theme of the 10th ESAFS conference is “Soil, a Precious Natural
Resource: Agricultural Ecosystems, Environmental Health and Climate
Change.”

He also said that all countries in the Southeast Asia region also
give high priority to agriculture as they have recognized the importance
of managing their natural resource base which is not second to all other
resources.

‘Under these circumstances treatment of this crucial resource base is
of prime importance.

‘The shift in global development has seen a shift from a solely
economic growth to sustainable development accompanied with conserving
the environment and resources.

‘The limited extents available for cultivation of crops and other
development needs exert a heavy pressure on soil and water resources
demanding more productive and efficient management of these natural
resources, he said.

“Soil being the primary nutrient reserve for the sustenance of fauna
and flora on earth, has to be an efficient nutrient supplier. Increase
in soil degradation due to improper management of this precious natural
resource has negatively affected agricultural productivity, quality and
environment and this has to be arrested scientifically, while ensuring
the improvement of soil quality and resilience against climate change.
Efforts should also be taken towards the reduction of Green House gas
emission and increase in carbon sequestration while making the soil more
productive and fertile,” he said.

The Secretary also said that varying management options for different
soils and circumstances including the redistribution and recharge of
water with conserved soil structure are similarly important
considerations for productive soils.

‘Research and technological innovations in soil and water related
aspects are needed everyday to meet the ever growing concerns of the
sustainable management of this vital resource base’, he said.

The Conference was organized by Social Science Society of Sri Lanka,
Agriculture Ministry, Agriculture Department, Export Agriculture
Department, Food and Agriculture Organization and University of
Peradeniya.

Prof Fu-Suo Zhang. Dean, College of Resources and Environmental
Sciences, China, Agricultural University, Sri Lanka Soil Science Society
President Srimathie Indraratne, Secretary Shifaya Maraikar and many
others participated.

 

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