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Sri Lanka crisis

Sri Lanka aims for food security after ill-fated fertilizer ban

As millions suffer from hunger, officials promise 'gigantic' farm modernization

A Sri Lankan farmer gestures to show the ideal height of the plants in his paddy in July, as growers struggle amid the economic crisis and the aftermath of a ban on chemical fertilizers.   © Reuters

COLOMBO -- Sri Lanka's cash-strapped government has vowed to build food security for the nation -- a tall order for a country suffering from one of the world's highest food inflation rates and still cursing the agricultural policy of the previous, unceremoniously ousted Rajapaksa administration.

The World Food Program estimates that more than 6 million Sri Lankans, or nearly 30% of the population, are currently "food insecure" and in need of humanitarian assistance. With the inflation rate for food reaching around 90% on the year in recent months, the WFP has said that as many as 86% of families are buying cheaper, less nutritious food and in some cases cutting back on meals.

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