STAFF REPORT ISB: The agriculture sector is considered the backbone of the countrys economy, contributing 21.4 per cent to the national output and employing 45 per cent of the labour force.

But this is one of the most neglected sectors that has not been the top priority of successive governments as well as political parties. Farmers are not provided sufficient subsidy, rather subsidised food is given to urban population by keeping support prices of crops at minimum levels to avoid an impact on inflation.

Small farmers have no access to loans due to corruption in banks and revenue departments and they are compelled to plant crops with the help of old farming practices.

The country also lacks water storages and a large quantity of water either goes into the sea or is lost due to an inefficient supply system. Though there are plans to build dams, no significant progress has been made so far.

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