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Sri Lanka and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), which has a long history of fruitful partnerships in rice and rice based farming systems, research and training agreed to establish a host country IRRI Center in Sri Lanka.

The agreement was signed by Dr. Matthew Morell, Director General of IRRI and Dr. Rohan Wijekoon, Director General of the Department of Agriculture of Sri Lanka at the International Rice Research Institute in Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines on 23rd October 2017.

Speaking after the signing ceremony Dr. Matthew Morell, Director General of IRRI, stated that “the signing of the Host Country Agreement today will no doubt intensify partnership between the Ministry of Agriculture of Sri Lanka and IRRI and will harness opportunities to further strengthen MOA’s capacity to lead the development of rice industry and thereby assure Sri Lanka’s continuing food security”.

The delegation also had fruitful discussions with Dr. Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., Chancellor of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), and staff of the Graduate School to finalize the arrangements to train Sri Lankan scientists at PhD and Msc level in plant breeding, agriculture economics and other related disciplines at the UPLB annually. 

The delegation also paid a courtesy call on Hon. Caesar P. Perez, Mayor of Los Baños.

Mr. D.V. Bandulasena, Secretary of State Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. S.D.G. Jayawardena, Chairman of Sri Lanka Council for Agricultural Research Policy, Prof. Pushpakumara, Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Dr. Rohan Wijekoon, Director General, Department of Agriculture, Dr. J.D.H Wijewardena, Secretary of Sri Lanka Council for Agricultural Research Policy, Mr. L.G. Hettiarachchi, Research Officer of Sri Lanka Council for Agricultural Research Policy, Mrs. Aruni Ranaraja, Sri Lanka Ambassador to the Philippines and Mrs. Sewwandi De Silva, Second Secretary/Head of Chancery of the Embassy of Sri Lanka, were present at the discussions.

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