Herathhami Dissanayake, 71, a rice farmer from Hambantota in southern Sri Lanka, says he’s despondent about the increase in wild animals raiding the crops in his village. He’s among dozens of farmers who continue to lose their crops to marauding herds of elephants and boars, and are suffering from the loss of income.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) FAO is providing funding and technical assistance to the Department of Agriculture in Sri Lanka to fill the technical gap in Fall Armyworm control measures, particularly in conducting research on breeding natural enemies, gaps in monitoring and awareness creations.
The United Kingdom-based charity organization Oxfam International announced the success of its blockchain-based delivery system of microinsurance to paddy field farmers in Sri Lanka. In a Nov. 4 press release, Etherisc announced that Oxfam’s blockchain-based insurance system had made pay-outs to Sri Lankan farmers who continue to risk losing their crops due to extreme weather events.
Aon, one of the world’s largest insurance companies, has teamed up with respected charity Oxfam and blockchain start-up Etherisc to deliver blockchain crop insurance policies to small farmers in Sri Lanka. The group’s revolutionary system recognizes the lack of sophistication with insurance in emerging markets.
In the first phase compensation will be paid to 307 farmers, who lost 100 percent of cultivation in the Ampara District. Under this phase compensation will be paid for 167 hectares of crop damaged land. The Agriculture Insurance Board has decide to pay Rs. 40,000 per hectare and the government has allocated Rs. 250 million for this purpose.
Over 50 percent of the maize cultivation during the 2018/2019 Maha Season (43,000 hectares) has been infested by the Fall Army Worm (FAW) which made its way into the country recently, Professor of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya. Around 75,000-80,000 hectares of maize is cultivated during the Maha Season and around 9,000-10,000 hectares during the Yala season.
Aon plc, the leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions; Oxfam in Sri Lanka, an organization working to alleviate poverty; and Etherisc, a leading InsureTech company, today announced a joint program to deliver micro-insurance to thousands of small holder paddy field farmers in Sri Lanka through blockchain technology.
As diabetes has become a major health problem, Sri Lanka is focusing attention on ways to prevent the disease and the latest in these efforts is the research into new varieties of rice, the staple food of Sri Lankans. The Ambalantota Rice Research Institute has introduced a rice variety named as 'Nirogi' that would help prevention of diabetes.
Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera says around 30% to 35% of the food crops - vegetables and fruits grown by farmers in Sri Lanka are being destroyed by wild animals and therefore, the yield of annual food crops has declined. The Minister discussed with the representatives of the Wayamba Farmers' Associations and inquired into the views of the farming community for future activities of the agricultural sector.
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