Friday, January 22, 2016

Agriculture Training – Drastic Policy Shift – The immediate need

Arguably Sri Lanka has the most unproductive agricultural base in the world. The costs of production are obscene compared to the level of pesticides and weedicides used! This make s mockery of eating poison, that has cost a huge amount to produce, where even Organic producers in India can produce for less cost. In short time for a radical shift. RAADICAL RAADICAL

Start with the teaching and research in Agriculture. STOP ALL AGRICULTURAL TEACHING AT UNIVERSITY. There is NO point teaching 75% women in the Agricultural Faculties just because that is the faculty they got into with their z score. NOT because they wanted to learn agriculture to follow a vocation as a farmer as their primary desire in life!!

There are so many agricultural training and research institutes in this Country, and they have patently not come together to give us the RESULTS WE NEED!

Gannoruwa, Mahaillupulama, Bathalagoda, Hector Kobbekaduwa Institute. We seem to have MORE PhDs in agriculture that the US department of agriculture, but we have not been able to solve the dilemma of an efficient, productive, profitable and export oriented (for select high value niche agricultural products) Agriculture System despite years of resource input, on reflection ALL wasted. 

High time therefore once and for all to get agriculture under one holistic umbrella which includes 1 day courses, 7 day courses, in house and external, diplomas, degrees, degrees, special degrees and even masters and Phd programs. This will then ONLY be littered with people INTERESTED I this subject from the heart.

I am running around trying to find the best seedling pepper to plant in my property, and I want guidance to ensure that I chose the right variety that suits my own climate, rainfall and soil pattern on  my land, and I am given the run around, and now have to deal with even Daya Gamage’s Ministry also, why a run around, if there is a one stop shop, that will direct me to the right body. For all I know there may be an expert in this topic stick in some University, that even the Ministry bureaucrats don’t know about, who could give the right answer to this problem.

I have been the only farmer in Sri Lanka that has simultaneously grown over 75 products in one time, in both the dry zone and wet zone and transported and delivered direct to my customers homes in Colombo, and none has repeated it! 

So with the struggle I have had to go from pillar to post, sometimes to all of the above to get advice in addition to the University, I realize farmers don't even have that advantage. 

I therefore suggest all training is funneled through a Central Depository, that knows what is the need, and can be a holistic AGRICULTURAL INSTITUTE catering to all levels of knowledge scatttered all around the Country, but every one on one page.

Some of the experts on one topic don't even know there are others in other places, where they can exchange their ideas with as there is NO central database of knowledge either. The resource is there, it is a matter of organizing all in a structure, that is done to achieve the National Policy, and I can assure you it may cost less than now, and achieve a far better result than now, and only people truly interested in the subject will use the resources of the state to take Sri Lanka to the next level that is needed if are both to meet the nation's food needs and have surplus for high value export.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good questions raised here. What should be the goal of agriculture policy? Efficiency? Self sufficiency? Specialization? Generalization? For local market? For export? Small holder-centric? Organic????? I am guessing your bias is towards large corporate practice.