Adequate domestic availability of basic foods is a primary condition to satisfy the requirements of food security, a state in which the population, at all times, have the material and financial means to obtain the basic foods they need. Agriculture is the major source of employment in Sri Lanka while contributing to about 20% of GDP of the country.
Besides its dependence on food production, food security depends either directly or indirectly on a wide range of factors; population growth and distribution, income changes due to socio-economic factors, urbanization and industrialization, agrotechnology employed, acceptance of local foods at the market, unsecured income of farmers, change of life styles due to the open economy, ecological and environmental problems related to food production, national planning and government policies with long term goals towards the prevention of looming famine, gender inequity in agricultural and food technological activities and food losses due to improper post harvest handling which in some instances represent up to 60%.
The present paper analyses all these important factors and presents prospects for this problem, making recommendations for improving food security. In addition, Sri Lanka should develop policies that are compatible with its own environment. Great care should also be taken to set up an interactive co-ordination among the Agro-food sector institutions and entrepreneurs and to establish policies to address issues related to socio-economic sphere, nutrition and health. A collective effort of governmental and non-governmental organizations, farmer associations and other stakeholders is of primary importance in the implementation of these policies.