Annual Dialogue with NARS Policy Makers & the Treasury
The Annual Dialogue with Officials of Relevant Ministries and the head of the National Agricultural Research System was held on 29th November 2022 at the Sri Lanka Council for Agricultural Research Policy. Forty-nine participants from National Agricultural Research System, relevant Ministries, and Council members were participated in this dialogue. The objective of the dialogue was to make a platform or scientists of the National Agricultural Research System and officials of relevant Ministries to discuss the importance of Agricultural research to develop the Economy through the Agriculture Sector and also the burning issues relevant to Agricultural Research. Before commencing the dialogue, four presentations were done to make aware of the future directions of National Agricultural Research Systems, the importance of Agricultural Research in the current situation, the Present Government Policy on agricultural research, and Policy Directions of the National Agricultural Research Policy.
Prof. Gamini Senanayake, Chairman, Sri Lanka Council for Agricultural Research Policy, welcomed the participants and explained the objectives of the Dialogue. Then Prof. Senanayake delivered his presentation on “Future Directions of National Agricultural Research System (NARS). Dr. W L Gamini Samarasinghe, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, explained the importance of Agriculture research findings to overcome food insecurity and developed an export market to earn foreign exchanges. Mr. R.H.W.A Kumarasiri, Director General, Department of National Planning, Ministry of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies explained the present status of fund distribution of the country. He also highlighted that treasury has identified the importance the agriculture research and said that need to develop a funding mechanism for those research programmes. He also requested to submit donor funding project proposals from the agricultural research institutes to discuss with donor agencies. Dr. (Mrs.) S. M. P. Chandra Padmini, Senior Scientist, Sri Lanka Council for Agricultural Research Policy presented national research policy directions and implementation of those research findings in the national level. After these presentations, Discussion with stakeholders was commenced, the NARS officers highlighted that the shortage of manpower, scientific equipment and insufficient funds were the serious issues to execute research and development activities in their institutes. The meeting was concluded at 1.45pm, Mr. Sameera Dissanayake, SRO, Sri Lanka Council for Agricultural Research Policy delivered the vote of thanks.