President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed a Presidential Task Force for Green Agriculture, by virtue of the powers vested in him by Article 33 of the Constitution.
This was announced in a Gazette Extraordinary published by the Secretary to the President, P.B. Jayasundera on Friday (October 15).
The 14-member task force is chaired by the Chairman of Wild Holidays (Pvt.) Ltd. Vijith Welikala. The remaining members of the panel are as follows:
1. Lalith Senevirathna
2. S.K.B. Kasun Tharaka Amal – Director, Biogenic Green Technology Research Institute
3. Malinda Senevirathna – Director, Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research and Training Institute
4. R.B. Rasika Thusitha Kumara – Climate Smart Agriculture Co-ordinator, Vavuniya and Mannar Districts Eco Friendly Farming Training Consultant
5. Dr. B.K.J. Kavantissa – Chief Executive Officer “Siyapatha” International Education and Training Institute (Pvt.) Ltd
6. Samantha Fernando – Kangara Holdings (Pvt.) Ltd.
7. Samuditha Kumarasinghe – Lanka Bio Fertilizers (Pvt.) Ltd.
8. Ajith Randunu – Green Force Agriculture (Pvt.) Ltd.
9. N.M. Khalid – Lanka Nature Power (Pvt.) Ltd.
10. Shammi Kirinde – Bio Foods (Pvt.) Ltd.
11. Ms. Nirmala Karewgoda – Hysoung ONB (Pvt.) Ltd
12. Chaminda Hettikankanamge – R.K.G. Bio Green Farm
13. Nishan de Silva – Lorance’s Liquid Fertilize
They are tasked with formulating a systematic programme for sustainable maintenance of green agriculture, identifying the organic fertilizer required for various crops and improving the quality of such fertilizer production and producing pesticides and weedicides locally.
Further, the task force members will identify methodologies and monitoring mechanisms for importing the limited scale possible shortages with high standards on the approval of the Sri Lanka Standards Institute in meeting the requirements through local production.
Additionally, enhancing the communication in transmitting to the public the health-related socio-economic benefits to be accrued from organic food production and consumption and enlisting the active support of the Public Service in this process and broadening the organic agriculture extension services at field level are also among their tasks.
President Rajapaksa has appointed the Additional Secretary to the President, Vernon Perera as the Secretary of the said task force.
The task force has been directed to liaise with the Economic Revival and Poverty Alleviation Task Force and the Presidential Task Force for the creation of a Green Sri Lanka with sustainable solutions for climate change.
The President has instructed them to submit reports to him at least once a month.