Seed technology needs urgent focus, states Ven. Athuraliya Rathana


Sri Lanka has no money and around Rs. one billion is spent on importing seeds annually, MP Athuraliya Rathana Thera said. However, he said not a single government has looked into the welfare of our scientists involved in seed technology.

He noted that Sri Lanka has produced many scientists engaged in seed production, but due to the lack of facilities for them to further their research and the lack of support from the government, they end up giving their research to international companies such as the CIC, he said.

Rathana Thera questioned as to why Sri Lanka cannot develop seed varieties when countries such as Thailand and Malaysia can do so.

“It doesn’t only have to be paddy and vegetables. There are many varieties of fruit, tea, rubber, mushrooms and even tissue culture. But, not a single government has allocated any funds for this field,” he noted.

He also noted that the maize cultivation has completely collapsed as there is no proper mechanism to identify the conditions needed for maize cultivation. He said that without strengthening the research sector this country’s agriculture sector cannot be developed. Therefore, he urged the government to take steps to develop the research sector and encourage local scientists to develop better agricultural seeds etc, adding that if this sector is developed the country’s agriculture sector could flourish.