Nutrition

Measuring the Pulse of Pulses: Improving Food Security in Sri Lanka

While Sri Lanka is recovering from its worst economic crisis since independence, significant concerns remain as 42% of the households still adopt food coping strategies which severely affect both quantity and the quality of protein consumption. Pulses are rich in quality and quantity of proteins, however, pulses comprise only 8% of Sri Lanka’s per capita protein supply. Also, the per capita availability of pulses for consumption in Sri Lanka through local production and imports is just over half the recommended quantity for a balanced diet. Against this backdrop, this blog analyses the trends in pulse production, consumption requirements, trade, and associated policy options to provide recommendations for sustainable pulse production to meet the dietary consumption and nutritional requirements of Sri Lanka’s growing population.

Food Fight: Sri Lanka’s Battle for Food Security

World Food Day is observed on 16 October to promote awareness and action to ensure regular access to nutritious food for all. This year’s theme is ‘Leave NO ONE Behind’. Global disruptions including COVID-19, the climate crisis and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year, have impacted food supplies worldwide. However, Sri Lanka’s food insecurity is largely a result of the prevailing economic crisis coupled with short-sighted policies enforced by local policymakers, with the burden being highest on the poor and vulnerable. The overnight ban on chemical fertiliser imports has been costly and generated a lower harvest. Although the ban has since been reversed, it continues to have ripple effects on the food system. The blog examines Sri Lanka’s struggle to safeguard food and nutrition security amidst the ongoing economic crisis and outlines policy steps to tackle the challenge.

No School, No Meals: Sri Lanka’s Battle against Child Malnutrition amidst COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, schools and preschools have been closed for nearly three months and until further notice. Missing out on school meals may lead to nutritional deficits of thousands of poor children in Sri Lanka. This is a grave situation, as nutritional shocks during childhood can result long-term effects on health and education outcomes. Given this context, the blog will discuss some steps that can be taken to mitigate nutritional fallouts among vulnerable children.

New Face of Hunger: Building a Resilient Food System in Sri Lanka in an Age of Pandemic

Among the many impending crises resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, rising food insecurity due to lockdown measures is one of the most critical. The food system in Sri Lanka has already proven to be vulnerable and inefficient in coping with crises. Further, malnutrition is a persistent problem in Sri Lanka, with severe regional disparities. Policymakers are thus faced with the dual challenge of mitigating the short and medium term impacts of COVID-19 as well as strengthening Sri Lanka’s food systems in the long term. This blog examines how COVID-19 could worsen food security issues in the country and what measures can be taken to overcome these challenges.

Latest Edition of Talking Economics Digest Now Online! – Creating a Knowledge-based Economy

As Sri Lanka is looking to reform its education sector, the 16th Edition of the Talking Economics Digest centers on the theme of ‘Creating a Knowledge-based Economy.’