Past Events

The Future of Agriculture in Southeast Asia: Lessons from Sri Lanka

The Future of Agriculture in Southeast Asia: Lessons from Sri Lanka

Date: 7 November 2022, Monday
Time: 10am – 11.30am

In April 2021, the Sri Lankan government imposed a ban on the import and use of Agri-chemical to promote the use of organic inputs in agriculture. Within a year since its implementation, Sri Lanka witnessed a reduction of 20% in agricultural yield, resulting in a price surge of food in the country. Given the rise in food prices, nine in ten Sri Lankan households have to forego meals to make ends meet. Further, the government had to compensate farmers millions in subsidies for the decrease in production of their cash crop – tea. Not to mention a $450 million expenditure on imports for rice – a dietary staple that the country had, for decades, been self-sufficient in producing prior to the agrichemical ban.

There are lessons that ASEAN can learn from Sri Lanka. Balancing the act of environmental protection while avoiding running the risk of a food crisis is one of them. Ensuring that farmers are educated about the appropriate use of agrochemicals to gain the most yield without compromising their livelihood and the earth is another.

This webinar will discuss:

  1. What are the implications in the ASEAN context if a ban on chemical pesticides is imposed? How will it affect the various stakeholders in the agriculture industry?
  2. What are some of the key findings from the report and learnings for ASEAN?
  3. How can we educate farmers about sustainable farming methods? Is there a formula to achieve a ‘perfect’ balance? How can we strike a balance between protecting the environment; and meeting the needs and supplying enough food for the growing population?
  4. What is the value of conventional methods of farming for farmers across ASEAN? What do you foresee will be their level of satisfaction in their current farming methods?


  • Dr Glenn Gregorio, Director of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA)
  • Chris Argent, Head of Business Sustainability, APAC, Syngenta
  • Mr. Adriel Dave “AD” Alvarez, Farmer, Philippines, Global Farmer Network
  • Dr. Fook Tim Chew, Vice Dean, Associate Professor, National University of Singapore