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FAO and Government representatives meet in Colombo ahead of a major regional conference on food and agriculture

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) hosted the first national level consultation with representatives from the Sri Lankan Government ahead of the 35th Session of the FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific (APRC 35). The APRC is an official forum where Ministers of Agriculture and other high-ranking officials from all Member States in the region meet to address emerging trends and challenges related to food and agriculture, thus promoting regional coherence.
The national consultative meeting with key stakeholders of the Government held at the UN Compound in Colombo, was focused on proposed regional priorities that will be highlighted at the APRC this year. The priorities range from managing water for agriculture under conditions of water scarcity, building sustainable and resilient food systems and leveraging on digital technology and innovation to improve food security and nutrition.

Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Ajantha de Silva stated that the regional priorities are in-line with the priorities of the Sri Lankan Government while the outcomes of the APRC will inform ongoing programmes in the country. Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Wildlife Development Dr. Ajith de Silva noted that an integrated approach is required for land degradation, climate change and biodiversity programmes in the country, reiterating that integrating biodiversity in agricultural policies and practices is also essential.

FAO Representative for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Xuebing Sun assured the Organization’s fullest cooperation to the Government of Sri Lanka, reiterating that FAO is tailoring its country programme to respond to increasing demands for policy and advisory support.