President Ranil Wickramasinghe emphasized that the security of a country should be not only military but also food and economic.
President Ranil Wickramasinghe stated this while joining the progress review meeting of the National Food Security and Nutrition Assurance Program held at the President’s Office.
The President also stated that he is ready to intervene at any time to resolve the problems that have arisen in the implementation of the food security and nutrition assurance program, which are simply due to the collapse of the state machinery.
President Ranil Wickramasinghe also pointed out the need to modernize agriculture and enact laws on food safety through this program.
With the theme “No citizen should starve due to lack of food”, the multi-sectoral joint mechanism to empower rural economic revitalization centers to ensure food security and nutrition was recently implemented throughout Dipa as per the instructions of President Ranil Wickramasinghe.
The progress of this program at the district level was examined and it was revealed that rural economic revitalization committees have been established at the village level in all the districts and programs have been started to ensure food security and nutrition.
There was also a discussion on the obstacles and problems in carrying out cultivation activities related to the respective districts and special attention was paid to fuel and fertilizer supply, land problems, shortage of seeds and damage to forestry by wild animals.
The President paid attention to the progress presented by the district secretaries in relation to the implementation of the program at the district level and informed the officers to identify separately the crop cultivations to be done at the rural level in order to create food security, and to identify the areas suffering from food shortage and submit a report on it promptly.
Based on this information, the President also instructed to plan to implement food bank and community kitchen programs to cover every district under the initiative of the district secretaries.
The President pointed out the possibility of all of them contributing to this program as there are more people than just the public service, and pointed out the importance of getting the support of the three armed forces, civil defense force, government and non-government organizations.
President Ranil Wickramasinghe also instructed that the program should be implemented continuously until 2023 to confirm the nutritional needs of the people and to use this program to prepare for the world economic crisis that may occur in the future.
The President further stated that after 03 weeks, a report on the progress of this program should be sent to the cabinet once a week.
Mr. Dinesh Gunawardena, who spoke here, pointed out the need to speed up the provision of land for new cultivators and follow a formal system for that.
Also, the Prime Minister explained the importance of informing the people at the rural level that the upcoming rainy season is suitable for new crop cultivations and to resort to it without delay.
Cabinet and State Ministers, President’s Senior Advisor on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff Sagala Ratnayake, President’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake, President’s Senior Advisor on Food Security Dr. Suren Batagoda and government officials including line ministry secretaries and district secretaries attended the discussion.