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USAID, Ceylon Biscuits to transfer know-how to 12,000 Sri Lanka farmers

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ECONOMYNEXT – The United States Agency for International Development said it had tied up with Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Biscuits to transfer knowledge to 12,000 farmers to engage in ‘climate-smart’ agriculture.

“As an example, this agreement with Ceylon Biscuits Limited improves farmers’ access to information to help them adapt to the impacts of climate change and will inspire like-minded businesses to advance climate-smart agriculture,” USAID Mission Director Gabriel Grau said in a statement.

Under a memorandum of understanding signed May 15, CBL groups will provide customized crop advisories and other agricultural inputs to more than 12,000 farmers in the Anuradhapura, Badulla, and Monaragala districts.

The ‘climate-smart agriculture’ initiative aims to improve productivity of five priority crops identified by the Government of Sri Lanka.

“Boosting productivity and quality through sustainable agriculture practices that result in stable and improved farming livelihoods is key to the sustainability of our operations and Sri Lanka’s food security,” Shea Wickramasingha, CBL Group Managing Director said in the statement.

USAID is also setting up a Climate Information Network in Sri Lanka.

“The project expects such a network to improve coordination and capacity among key stakeholders at the national, provincial, district, and division levels to provide customized, targeted climate information with improved frequency,” USAID said.

“Since farming decisions require consideration of other factors, the project will work with private sector agribusinesses to bundle climate information with other services, such as extension, input supply, technologies, and marketing, which are provided to farmers growing produce for Ceylon Biscuits Limited.”

USAID has a five-year Climate Adaptation Project for Sri Lanka and Maldives to improve the capacity of the government, private sector, and local communities to respond and adapt to climate change enable market-based growth in agriculture, fisheries, and tourism.

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