FAO in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka to host the 37th Asia Pacific Regional Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization


Sri Lanka has chosen to host the 37th session of the Asia Pacific Regional Conference (APRC) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), to be held from 19th to 22nd February 2024 in Colombo. FAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger and improve food security and nutrition. The Asia Pacific Regional Conference will enable ministers of agriculture and high officials from 46 member countries across the Asia Pacific region to discuss challenges and priorities related to food and agriculture, promoting regional coherence.

The Ministerial session planned for 19th to 22nd February 2024 will be preceded by a Senior Officers Meeting (SOM) to be held virtually from 31st January to 2nd February 2024. The SOM will be chaired by Mr. Janaka Dharmakeerthi, Secretary, Minister of Agriculture and Plantation Industries. The report of the SOM will be presented at the Ministerial session for adoption.

Hon. Mahinda Amaraweera and Mr. Vimlendra Sharan, FAO Representative for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, held a joint press conference on 8th December 2023 regarding the upcoming conference. Speaking at the press conference, Hon. Mahinda Amaraweera stated, “The 37th APRC will provide a vital platform for regional collaboration, benefitting the agricultural landscape, fisheries sector and environment of Sri Lanka, as well as participating member countries.”

FAO has had an active presence in Sri Lanka for over 40 years. Mr. Vimlendra Sharan stated, “FAO has supported the country in the implementation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), and the development of the fisheries sector for growth and climate resilience. The APRC conference will be an opportunity to highlight the innovative approaches introduced in partnership with the government.”

By hosting the 37th APRC, Sri Lanka demonstrates the country’s dedication to the growth of sustainable agriculture, not just at home but across the region, and showcases its commitment to being partners in sustainable agricultural development.

The APRC agenda will include a forum on agritourism, especially requested by the Sri Lankan government. This forum will give high-level delegates arriving in the island from across the Asia Pacific region the opportunity to recognise Sri Lanka’s viability as an agritourism destination, further developing the nation’s agritourism sector and bringing in valuable foreign exchange. The 37th APRC presents a valuable opportunity for Sri Lanka and the region to collaborate in fostering an abundant agricultural sector.