FAO in Sri Lanka

FAO delivers 36 000 tonnes of USAID-funded TSP fertilizer in time for Yala


With funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Sri Lanka delivered 36 000 tonnes of Triple Super Phosphate (TSP) fertilizer to the Ministry of Agriculture today for immediate distribution to all paddy farmers across the country. This is the first shipment of Triple Super Phosphate (TSP) fertilizer to arrive in Sri Lanka since 2021 and will provide essential nutrients to paddy crops cultivated by over one million paddy farmers in the upcoming Yala cultivation season (April – August 2023) and beyond.

Paddy farmers across the island will receive TSP fertilizer at no cost. The amount received is calculated based on the extent cultivated by each farmer and the TSP requirement in their respective agriculture zone. The distribution will commence this week, through the Department of Agrarian Development of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister, Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena, expressed appreciation on behalf of the nation. “We are thankful for the support extended by FAO and USAID to help Sri Lankan farmers receive vital inputs for their cultivation. We are confident with such assistance, our farmers will successfully rise to the challenge facing them,” he said.

U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka, H.E. Julie Chung speaking at the handover event said, “This shipment brings the total of USAID-supported TSP and urea fertilizer to over 45 000 tonnes during a time farmers are trying hard to maximize rice production and meet the country’s food needs. We want to help fulfil their hopes. For 75 years, the people of America have stood by the people of Sri Lanka through progress and crisis, demonstrating our goodwill and commitment.”

Meanwhile, speaking at the handover Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Mahinda Amaraweera expressed his gratitude to the people of America and FAO for providing timely support to reinvigorate the local agricultural sector. Through this support, we are certain the yield of the upcoming harvesting seasons will improve steadily. Our eventual aim is to minimize dependency on rice imports and further empower Sri Lankan paddy farmers,” Minister Amaraweera added.

“Fertilizer will help local farmers boost their production so that the country is food secure. Most importantly, this also can jump-start market-driven agricultural production and potentially lead to Sri Lanka becoming a food exporter”, said USAID Mission Director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives Gabriel Grau.

FAO Representative to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Vimlendra Sharan, thanked USAID and the government for the partnership that made it possible to provide much needed inputs to support Sri Lankan farmers. "The effort is significant in that we have been able to procure essential TSP fertilizer for all paddy farmers across Sri Lanka. This paves the way for a better harvest and better livelihoods, while strengthening food security for all," he added.

Together with its partners, FAO in Sri Lanka is looking forward to further strengthening the agriculture sector by providing the technology and capacity building required to increase productivity, fertilizer use efficiency, and ensure sustainability of the ecosystem while protecting the environment.