COLOMBO (New 1st); President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed weaknesses in global food systems that will only be made worse by climate change.
Speaking virtually at the 2021 United Nations Food Systems Summit in New York, the president said it was essential that all stakeholders work together to transform global food systems to be more sustainable, resilient. and inclusive.
“Sustainable food systems are part of Sri Lanka‘s rich socio-cultural and economic heritage,” the president said, adding that however, the recent past has seen the increasing use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and weedkillers, which has had a negative impact on health and the environment.
“My government made the bold decision to restrict imports of these harmful substances earlier this year. However, changing the mindset of farmers long accustomed to using chemical fertilizers has proven difficult, ”he added.
President Rajapaksa also noted that promoting organic farming is part of a larger agenda that includes enhancing inclusive market-based food value change to reduce rural poverty.
“With such improvements, I am confident that Sri Lanka will be able to sustainably transform its food system and ensure greater food security and better nutrition for its people,” he said, adding that leaders must aim to secure a better future for the people and the planet. .
The challenges we face are universal and we must work together to find solutions to them, he added.