10/16/2012, 00.00
SRI LANKA

Sri Lanka: yes to development of farmers and fishermen, for greater food safety

by Melani Manel Perera
For World Food Day, former Ceylon has dedicated a week of workshops, theater performances, events and religious activities in the defense of and the right to food and livelihood. According to the Global Security Index, Sri Lanka is at 62nd place (out of 105) in the field of food safety.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - A week of events, seminars, theatre productions and religious activities, to promote food security and the right to subsistence, for the small fisherman as well as large-scale producers. Thus Sri Lanka has prepared for today's marking of World Food Day. The various initiatives come after the recent publication of the Global Security Index, which analyzes accessibility, availability, quality and food safety. Based on these factors, the GSI has compiled a ranking of 105 countries, in which Sri Lanka has finished in 62nd place.

In the ranking of the Global Security Index, the United States occupies the first place, while the Congo is last (105th, ed.) Among the States of South Asia, India ranks the highest (66th overall in the index) with regard to the availability of food. However, the absence of a varied and quality diet, and low protein affect New Delhi's score of in terms of quality and safety, relegating it to third place in the area.

In Sri Lanka, NGOs, civil society and Christians religious have promoted several initiatives, paying particular attention to farmers and fishermen. Among the associations committed to spreading the cause of food security, the NAFSO (National Fisheries Solidarity) movement and the Sri Wimukthi, which defends the rights of fishermen. Herman Kumara, president of NAFSO, explains: "With this campaign for food sovereignty, we want to bring about a change of policy in favor of fishermen and farmers."

Herman Kumara, said: "Among the Asian countries, Sri Lanka is considered one of the best instead for social development, due to the low rate of malnutrition and mortality, and one of the highest in terms of literacy." However, he notes, "the situation is still alarming," because of "liberal economic policies that have devastated rural agriculture, fishing and small-scale dairy farmers." If sustained, he points out, "these categories can feed the country, solve the problems of rural poverty, reduce unemployment."

 

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