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World Bank’s high officials visit facilitates SL climate-smart agriculture

By: Staff Writer

Colombo (LNW): Two World Bank high officials’ present visit to Sri Lanka will pave the way towards revitalizing the ongoing Climate Smart Irrigated Agriculture Project (CSIAP), the President’s Media Division (PMD) said in a statement.

The Managing Director for Operations of the World Bank, Ms. Anna Bjerde and Martin Raiser, the Regional Vice-President of the World Bank for South Asia, conducted a field visit to the Climate Smart Farmer Training School in Thirappane on Sunday (29).

The purpose of their visit was to assess the progress of the Climate Smart Irrigated Agriculture Project (CSIAP).

Ms. Anna Bjerde made her first visit to the country in response to a request made by President Ranil Wickremesinghe during his special meeting with the President of the World Bank. Ajay Banga.

The CSIAP has undertaken an ambitious initiative to establish a comprehensive Farmer Training School known as “Deshaguna Suhuru Govi Puhunu Pasala” in Mannakkulama Village, Thirappane, in the Anuradhapura District.

This Farmer Training School will play a pivotal role in training and equipping farmers with hands-on experience in Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) practices and cutting-edge agricultural technologies.

This visit by Ms. Anna Bjerde and Martin Raiser, the Vice President for the South Asia Region and a delegation from the World Bank, Asia Development Bank, JICA and USAID underscores the World Bank’s and other partners’ commitment to supporting initiatives that aim to improve the agricultural sector and enhance climate resilience in Sri Lanka’s dry zone.

Following her visit to the Climate Smart Farmer Training School (FTS) in Thirappane, Ms. Anna Bjerde and the delegation of officials visited the Ambul Banana Cluster in Rajanganaya.

This project supports smallholder farmer clusters in the project districts to produce high value agricultural products in order to improve the farmer household income significantly as well as to increase the export earnings of the country, the statement added.

Expressing her views at the event, Ms. Anna Bjerde, Managing Director for Operations of the World Bank, highlighted the changing weather patterns caused by climate change and how this school is equipping farmers with techniques to enhance productivity and resilience in crop production.

Ms. Bjerde also mentioned three major benefits of this project: the transition to renewable energy, particularly solar power; increased and stable livelihoods, enabling children to access education, including higher education; and diversified and sustainable crop yields, ensuring better nutrition.

She expressed pride in the World Bank’s support for this project and emphasized the need for more initiatives like this to address the challenges posed by climate change, both through mitigation and adaptation efforts.

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