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Abstract

Increasing the area under irrigation and the widespread adoption of seed-fertilizer technology were the major factors that contributed to enhanced rice production in Sri Lanka, enabling the country to achieve self-sufficiency in rice. In recent years, there has been a shift in emphasis from expanding the irrigated land base to enhancing the productivity of irrigated land through diversification of agriculture and improvement of rice production, with better water management in irrigation schemes. This report attempts to assess how the irrigation sector in Sri Lanka is adapting itself to these new challenges. It analyzes the future direction of irrigation in Sri Lanka in light of recent trends in public and private investment in this sphere, and the revolution in groundwater development brought about by the poor performance and gradual deterioration of existing irrigation schemes.

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