Mrs. D.K.R. Ekanayake
The Ministry of Rural Economy was established on the 21st day of September 2015 with the designated Mission of Sustainable Development and Livelihood Development of the rural community through sustainable income generation for improvement of their economic and social status, equipped with the Vision of building a prosperous nation.
Its organization represents a merger of three main functions of the former Ministries of Food Security, Rural Economic Affairs and Social Services and Livestock Development.
Primarily the Ministry of Rural Economy supports Agro-marketing Systems, Rural Economic Uplift and Livestock Development.
The under-mentioned institutions come within the Agro-marketing area:
1. Paddy Marketing Board
2. Provincial Dedicated Economic Centres
The Livestock Development Sector comprises the following institutions:
- Department of Animal Production and Health
- National Livestock Development Board and affiliated establishments
- Milco (Pvt.) Ltd.
- Mahaweli Livestock Development (Pvt.) Ltd.)
- Sri Lanka Poultry Development (Pvt.) Ltd.
v Formulation of policies, programmes and projects within the scope of work assigned to the Departments and Statutory Institutions operating under the Ministry, relevant to the subject of Rural Economy, and implementation, follow up and evaluation of projects;
- Implementation of Rural Livelihood Development Projects;
- Formulation of Regional Development and Rural Development Policies and Strategic Development Policies;
- Development of Rural Infrastructure Facilities and Small Enterprises;
- Provision of financial assistance for Rural Economic Activities;
- Provision of necessary facilities for enhancement of livestock products;
- Animal Welfare and the related activities;
- Taking steps necessary for Promotion of Livestock-based Products, their Propagation and Development
- Expansion of the Research Division of the Livestock Sector utilizing modern technology and taking measures for qualitative and quantitative development of products, based on the research findings;
- Propagation of Scientific Breeding Methods for proliferation of the animal population and quarantine activities
- The above functions assigned to this Ministry are implemented under 04 main Thrust Areas:
- Development of Rural Livelihoods for the Economic Uplift of the Rural People;
- Fulfillment of the local demand through the development of High Quality Livestock Products;
- Regularization of the Market by Setting Up a Systematic Marketing Network for marketing, processing and value addition of Livestock Products;
- Producing Local Manufacturers capable of facing the competition within the local and the international markets, through co-ordination of purchase, storage and marketing of agro-products.
Among the responsibilities of the Ministry, the functions noted below, are pivotal to the Rural Development sector:
- I. Formation of policies for the benefit of the rural communities engaged in income generation activities
- II. Designing and planning of development projects based on their economic importance
- III. Implementation of development projects to assure that benefits reach down to the rural people
- IV. Monitoring and evaluation of the benefits enjoyed by the rural community
Besides the above functions, the Ministry is oriented towards making all endeavors in the direction of successful accomplishment of the following policy-based commitments of the Government:
- To minimalize and eventually eradicate the Drug Menace the country is plagued with, root and branch;
- To minimalize and eventually eradicate the Kidney affliction (UKD) particularly among the country’s farming population in the North-central Province;
- To minimalize and eventually eradicate the wanton environmental destruction the country is threatened with, at the hands of unscrupulous fortune hunter elements;
- To minimalize and eventually eradicate the use of toxic chemicals in agriculture by their substitution with carbonic fertilizer, which will serve gradually to solve the problem of garbage piling up in the cities, which can be used as raw material;
- To embark on the tree planting campaign, Vanaropa 2016 Island wide, as a national environmental restoration and conservation programme;
- To ensure food security and food safety in every region of the country.
Achievements of the Ministry so far:
- Policy and Legislative Achievements
- Amendments made to the Animals Act No. 29 of 1985
- Submission of a new draft Act on Animal Welfare
- Foreign Collaborative Programs for livestock Development
Technical Cooperation with Government of Belarus to train Sri Lankan Veterinary Surgeons on Modern Dairy Farming Techniques;
Partnership Arrangement for Dairy Excellence Training Initiative with Government of New Zealand;
Technical Co-operation to Develop Pollonnaruwa NLDB Farm as a Buffalo Research Center with the collaboration of Government of Pakistan;
Establishment of Mini Dairy Processing Plants regionally to facilitate liquid Milk Consumption and Promotion among People with the Financial Support of Government of France;
Establishment of a Dairy Technology Institute with the Assistance of Government of Netherlands (Proposal in Progress);
Development of Dairy Farming in Kurunegala and Gampaha Districts with Financial Support of Government of Saudi Arabia.