FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Sri Lanka

Implementation of the Global Strategy in Sri Lanka

33.7% employed in agriculture

41.8% land area devoted to agriculture

8% share of agriculture in GDP


The developing island nation of Sri Lanka employs about a third of its citizens in agriculture, with agricultural land use taking up close to 42 percent of the country's total land area.  However, these numbers only produce a little over 8 percent share for agriculture in the country's overall GDP.  Sri Lanka has no national strategy for the development of statistics, and statistics data is collected on a stand-alone basis without coordination among producing agencies, leading to duplication and inconsistencies.  

Except for rice, data collection for agricultural crops, including plantation crops, livestock, fisheries and forests, are collected through administrative reporting systems that are not considered of high quality. Though the methodology for rice production estimation is considered objective, it has scope for further improvement. Little work has been done on the collection of environment statistics and cost of production statistics are not available at all for livestock, forestry and fisheries.  Sri Lanka's national accounts, particularly in forests and fisheries, have weaknesses and gaps that need to be addressed.

Current Work

The Global Strategy in Asia Pacific has proposed meeting agricultural and rural statistics needs in Sri Lanka through the following actions.

· Develop a Strategic Plan for Agricultural and Rural Statistics (SPARS)

· Assess data needs for national accounts and make recommendations to improve agricultural statistics

· Improve the methodologies used for rice crop cutting surveys, crop forecasting and highland crop statistics

· Assist in processing and disseminating agricultural census data

· Improve cost of production statistics for rice and fisheries

· Improve data quality for the food balance sheet

· Improve livestock production statistics


Sri Lanka has begun implementing the recommended projects and is currently in the advanced stages of improving the methodology for rice crop cutting surveys and highland crops, which has resulted in the recommendation of alternative methodologies for rice production and highland crop production estimation.  These are being pilot tested before a nationwide recommendation is made.  Work in Sri Lanka has also led to the completion of a number of reports vital to the Global Strategy and Government goals, including: an In-Depth Country Assessment (IdCA), country proposal paper for short-term technical assistance and training, a Strategic Plan for Agricultural and Rural Statistics roadmap, and draft technical reports on new methodologies for highland crops and estimating rice production.  The IdCA and country proposal paper have been endorsed by the Sri Lanka Government. 






Ongoing Activities

Development of a Strategic Plan for Agricultural and Rural Statistics

Improving the Methodology for Rice Crop Cutting Surveys

Improving the Methodology for Highland Crop Statistics