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The Government of Sri Lanka (the Department of External Resources (ERD) and the Department of National Planning (NPD)) and the Independent Office of Evaluation (IOE) of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) (sponsor of the National Workshop) held a one-day workshop at the Taj Samudra Hotel,Colombo yesterday (13.3.2019) to share the conclusions of an independent evaluation of IFAD's country strategy and rural development programme in Sri Lanka.

The workshop presented the main conclusions and recommendations of the evaluation which analyses the past 13 years of rural investment that IFAD has undertaken together with the Government. The event was also an opportunity to discuss how IFAD can best support the country in developing the rural sector, strengthen policy engagement and partnerships in the country, and better involve the private sector in agricultural value chains and assist smallholder farmers to access credit.

The workshop has brought together rural development experts and evaluators from Sri Lanka including Mr. K D S Ruwanchandra, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Economic Affairs, Livestock Development, Irrigation and Fisheries & Aquatic Resources Development, Mr.  J A Ranjith, Secretary, Ministry of Plantation Industries, DG/NPD, Actg.DG/ERD, DG/Department of Development Fund, etc, IFAD including Mr Donal Brown, Associate Vice President, Programme Management Department, Mr Nigel Brett, Director, IFAD Asia and the Pacific Division and Mr Oscar Garcia, IOE Director, and other organizations and international development institutions. The participants were around 150.

Discussions addressed key issues and strategic priorities to be included in a new strategy that promotes development effectiveness with the aim of eradicating rural poverty in the country.

Finally, it was concluded with the signing of the Agreement at Completion Point (ACP) which contains recommendations based on the evaluation findings and conclusions presented in the CSPE report, as well as proposed follow-up actions, in between              Mr. Ajith Abeysekera, Actg. Director General, Department of External Resources and      Mr Donal Brown, Associate Vice President, Programme Management Department, IFAD. The signed ACP is an integral part of the CSPE report in which the evaluation findings are presented in detail, and will be submitted to the IFAD Executive Board as an annex to the new country strategic opportunities programme for Sri Lanka.

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