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Cablegate: Sri Lanka Likely Supportive of Proposed Global

R 090135Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 9036
INFO AMEMBASSY DHAKA
AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU
AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI
AMCONSUL CHENNAI
AMCONSUL KARACHI
AMCONSUL MUMBAI
DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC

UNCLAS COLOMBO 001118


DELHI FOR FAS
DEPT FOR SCA/INS, EEB/TPP MLURIE AND JSPECK
USAID FOR BHAMMINK
USDA FOR KMILLER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR EAID ECON ETRD PGOV TBIO CE
SUBJECT: SRI LANKA LIKELY SUPPORTIVE OF PROPOSED GLOBAL
PARTNERSHIP FOR AGRICULTURE AND FOOD (GPAF)

REF: STATE 123480

1. Econ Chief delivered reftel points to Additional Secretary
for Agriculture Development and Agrarian Services AAR
Ratnayake on December 8. Although Ratnayake could not pledge
full GSL support for the Global Partnership for Agriculture
and Food (GPAF), she stated Sri Lanka would be in favor of
the initiative and noted the GSL could benefit from increased
information sharing and technical assistance. She also
encouraged additional direct U.S. assistance to improve
agricultural output in country.

2. Ratnayake underscored that Sri Lanka is very interested in
food security. The government has a long-term plan that is
working to help farmers improve yields on twenty-three food
commodities, most notably rice. The goal is to cease all
importation of these products by 2010. This goal will not be
met, with the possible exception of rice, due to low
productivity. Although the Ministry is active in advanced
research, the extension of this research to farmers remains
weak.

3. In discussing cross-border cooperation, Ratnayake noted
that GSL agriculture officials meet regularly with South
Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)
counterparts to share research, information, and lessons
learned. GPAF should consider including regional
organizations in its framework to maximize linkages that
already exist.


Blake

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