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Sri Lankan President discusses rice sector opportunities with IRRI


Colombo, Sri Lanka (19 June 2018) --- Matthew Morell, Director General of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), met with the President of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena, to discuss opportunities for collaboration that would further strengthen the rice sector of the country.


"Climate change is a major issue in Sri Lanka. We need IRRI technology to modernize the rice sector, make it resilient to climate change and, in future, help develop the export potential of Sri Lankan rice," President Maithripala Sirisena said.


IRRI supports the government of Sri Lanka as it aims to increase rice yield and improve farmers’ income through improved rice varieties, crop management approaches, and mechanization; strengthen policy support and analysis through geographical information systems; train the next generation of rice scientists; improve consumers’ health; and, increase cooperation and efficiency in the rice value chain.


Spanning more than 50 years, IRRI and Sri Lanka’s partnership has led to the country’s rice self-sufficient status. The country has also actively conserved rice genetic diversity by holding about 2,027 types of native rice varieties in IRRI’s rice gene bank.


Later in the day a Heads of Agreement was also signed by Dr. WMW Weerakoon, Director General of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture, on behalf of Honorable Minister of Agriculture Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera and Dr. Matthew Morell. The agreement will guide the planning and implementation of strategic initiatives to reinvigorate the country’s rice sector and support the government in achieving their key goal of self-sufficiency in rice. 




CAPTION: Dr.Matthew Morell, Director General for IRRI (On left) met the President of Sri Lanka,

His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena (On right)for furthering discussions on rice sector opportunities for the country.