Any development plan for Sri Lanka should be based on agriculture in the first place and the Mahinda Rajapaksa government has always given priority to that section in all government development strategies, the Minister of Economic Development, Basil Rajapaksa said.
He made these observations when he visited the Mahailuppallama Field Crop Research and Development Institute and Seed and Planting Material Development Centre on Friday.
The Minister said the Field Crop Research and Development Institute and Seed and Planting Material Development Centre could contribute immensely for the country’s development.
Agriculture was neglected during the time of the previous government because thinking at that time was that development should be mainly based on industries. But President Mahinda Rajapaksa has changed that way of thinking and given priority to the Agriculture sector in all development strategies, he added.
He accused the UNP government of selling some of the vital institutions of the government in agriculture research and development to the private sector.
The Minister emphasized that seeds should be made available timely at reasonable prices and various technologies should be encouraged to improve development of the Agriculture sector.
He appreciated the services rendered by the two institutes to conduct the research and development programmes on field crops aiming at developing new technology and facilitating the technology dissemination for enhancement of production and productivity in the field crop sector.