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US Under Secretary visits SL

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On Friday (April 26) in Colombo, Alexis Taylor, Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), together with U.S. Ambassador Julie Chung, met with Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe and other senior government officials to discuss USDA support for Sri Lanka’s agricultural sector. 

Under Secretary Taylor’s visit underscored the American peoples’ ongoing commitment to supporting the agricultural development and economic growth of Sri Lanka, promoting greater food security and enhancing resilience against climate challenges.
On Friday, the Under Secretary’s discussions affirmed Sri Lanka’s key role as a priority country in the 2024 Food for Progress initiative, which focuses on enhancing food security and climate resilience through environmentally friendly practices and improved market linkages. A primary focus was the ongoing $27.5 million Market-Oriented Dairy Project which has helped improve milk productivity for over 15,000 dairy farmers in Sri Lanka, with many reporting doubling production thanks to the project.  USDA’s dairy project also seeks to help improve climate adaptivity among the dairy farmers by providing comprehensive training on cattle herding and feed consumption strategies that reduce unnecessary energy consumption. 

Additionally, since 2018 the USDA’s McGovern-Dole project implemented by Save the Children in partnership with the Ministry of Education has provided daily meals to close to 100,000 Sri Lankan primary schoolchildren throughout the country.  Building on this success, USDA embarked on a new five-year, $32.5 million project expansion to further boost school meal provisions across eight districts, including Badulla, Colombo, Kilinochchi, Monaragala, Mullaitivu, Nuwara Eliya, Ratnapura, and Trincomalee. The project now aims to provide meals to close to 200,000 students covered under Sri Lanka’s national school meal program. 

The United States, through USDA support, is committed to enhancing food security in Sri Lanka as part of our broader goal to foster stability and prosperity. By investing in agricultural partnerships, we aim to empower local farmers, increase food production, and ensure a more secure future for all.

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India in talks with Sri Lanka to acquire graphite mines

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India is in talks with Sri Lanka to acquire graphite mines in the island nation.

The demand for graphite is steadily increasing, as it is the most common material used for anodes in lithium-ion and other batteries.

The Indian government had discussions with the government of Sri Lanka on acquiring graphite mines there, sources said.

(PTI)

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Karapitiya Hospital to be a National Hospital

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The Cabinet has approved the proposal to develop the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital as a National Hospital.

Speaking at the weekly cabinet briefing that took place today (May 23), Cabinet spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardane said that this will be the third National Hospital in addition to the two National Hospitals in Colombo and Kandy.

The relevant Cabinet paper had been presented by Health Minister Ramesh Pathirana.

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36,900 power breakdowns due to inclement weather

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The Ceylon Electricity Board has reported over 36,900 breakdowns resulting in power interruptions to more than 300,000 consumers in the last 3 days due to inclement weather, says Power and Energy Minister – Kanchana Wijesekera.

Taking to X, the minister notes that additional service staff has been assigned to attend the breakdowns and the CEB management & service staff are working 24 hours to restore power to the affected consumers.

If consumers are unable to repot power interruptions through the CEB hotline 1987, they can use the SMS option to 1987 with BD and the electricity consumer number to follow, use the CEB Care app or through http://cebcare.ceb.lk, he adds.

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