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U.S. Officials Meet Sri Lankan President to Discuss Agricultural Support

Alexis Taylor, Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), along with U.S. Ambassador Julie Chung, convened with Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe and other senior government officials to deliberate on USDA support for Sri Lanka’s agricultural sector, according to a statement from the US Embassy.

Under Secretary Taylor’s visit emphasized the enduring commitment of the American people to bolstering agricultural development and economic growth in Sri Lanka, with a focus on advancing food security and resilience against climate challenges.

Discussions during the visit affirmed Sri Lanka’s pivotal role as a priority country in the 2024 Food for Progress initiative, which aims to enhance food security and climate resilience through eco-friendly practices and improved market connectivity.

A central point of discussion was the ongoing $27.5 million Market-oriented Dairy Project, which has significantly elevated milk productivity for over 15,000 dairy farmers in Sri Lanka, resulting in many reporting a doubling of production. The USDA’s dairy project also aims to enhance climate adaptability among dairy farmers through comprehensive training on cattle management and feed strategies aimed at reducing unnecessary energy consumption.

Furthermore, since 2018, the USDA’s McGovern-Dole project, implemented by Save the Children in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, has been providing daily meals to nearly 100,000 Sri Lankan primary schoolchildren nationwide. Building upon this success, the USDA has launched a new five-year, $32.5 million project expansion to further bolster school meal provisions across eight districts, including Badulla, Colombo, Kilinochchi, Monaragala, Mullaitivu, Nuwara Eliya, Ratnapura, and Trincomalee.

The expanded project aims to extend meal provisions to nearly 200,000 students covered under Sri Lanka’s national school meal program.

Through USDA support, the United States remains steadfast in its commitment to enhancing food security in Sri Lanka as part of its broader objective to foster stability and prosperity. By investing in agricultural partnerships, the aim is to empower local farmers, boost food production, and ensure a more resilient future for all.

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