The Government of Japan through the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is providing USD 4,629,629 to strengthen the production capacity of smallholder paddy farmers in identified districts of the Dry and Intermediate Zones of Sri Lanka.

Smallholder farmers are amongst the most vulnerable rural communities, predominantly cultivating rice for self-consumption. Lack of fertilizer over two consecutive seasons caused major yield drops forcing some farmers to undertake negative coping strategies (pawning, buying on credit, dipping into savings, etc.) to meet their food security and nutrition requirements.

Through the initiative, approximately 250,000 smallholder paddy farmers cultivating paddy on land holdings up to one hectare in identified districts of the Dry and Intermediate zones will receive up to 50kgs of urea fertilizer each for the upcoming Maha cropping season. The fertilizer will be provided free of cost and distribution will be carried out with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Department of Agrarian Development. The project will also provide smallholder paddy farmers with sensitization material on the efficient use of fertilizer to maximize production.(IR)


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