As Sri Lanka advances toward completion of its first Strategic Plan for Agricultural and Rural Statistics (SPARS), it has worked in concert with the Global Strategy Regional Office in Asia Pacific to initiate a number of technical assistance activities that inform and complement SPARS.
The completed In Depth Country Assessment (IDCA) has led to a country proposal on technical assistance and training activities, which has been endorsed by the government, and a SPARS document is expected to be finalized during the year. The SPARS and technical assistance activities will continue in April during a Global Strategy mission in the country.
Two new field projects in four rural districts were initiated in late 2015 and are expected to have their first phase completed by the end of May 2016. Improved methods for estimating important highland crops (potato, big onion, maize and chilies) are being pilot tested in the Anuradhapura, Kegalle, Badulla and Gampaha Districts and will continue into 2016 during the highlands growing season. The second pilot on improved methodology for rice acreage and yield estimation is also progressing in parallel with that of highland crops. The data collection work in selected districts is expected to be completed in early 2016. Two consultants will analyze the data from the pilots in April and May this year and make recommendations for new methodologies in June. Upon acceptance by the Government, the proposed methodologies will be enacted nationwide.