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Food security in Sri Lanka - agronomic implications and potentials

Authors:

UR Sangakkara ,

LK
About UR
Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya
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SP Nissanka

LK
About SP
Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya
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Abstract

The population of the world is growing at an alarming rate and its greatest impact is on the developing nations of Asia and Africa. South Asia, which has the poorest population in Asia is also affected by this process. Among the nations of South Asia, Sri Lanka has a relatively high degree of social welfare, although food security for its 20.1 million people is not achieved. This is due to the phenomenon of smallholder farming systems producing some 90% of the food required under marginal conditions in low fertile soils.  The current problems of irregular climates, global warming and anthropogenic effects of conventional intensive cropping have added to the challenges facing the increase of in-country food production. As land for expansion of food crop cultivation is not available in Sri Lanka, short term measures are required for enhancing crop productivity to ensure food security within the next decade. The options available are breeding suitable crops or enhancing agronomic management of the food crop systems. As breeding programmes take time and could be expensive, the short-term measures to increase food production would thus be improved agronomic management of the smallholder farming systems. A principal component of improved agronomic management of food crop systems is the building up of soil quality and its maintenance to ensure sustained productivity in the context of rising costs of inputs. The role of holistic agronomic practices such as green manures, crop rotations, and even agroforestry and their integration to enhance food productivity and maintain sustainability to ensure that Sri Lanka could achieve its targets of food security is presented in this review.
How to Cite: Sangakkara, U. & Nissanka, S., (2017). Food security in Sri Lanka - agronomic implications and potentials. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka. 36, pp.17–24. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jnsfsr.v36i0.8046
Published on 03 Apr 2017.
Peer Reviewed

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