Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation in the Agriculture Sector of Sri Lanka: What We Learnt and Way Forward

  • Rasu EeswaranEmail author
Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)


Climate change and its net negative impacts on global food production systems thereby its threats on food security are unequivocal. In Sri Lanka, large volume of literature elucidated the statistically significant increase of ambient temperature, increase of variability in rainfall and increase of weather extremes in response to climate change. Increasing weather extremes found to increase prolonged droughts and flash floods. These changes directly and indirectly affects the agriculture sector of Sri Lanka, thus impose greater consequences to the economy and national food security. Studies of climate change impacts on almost all major crops have clearly elucidated the yield reductions in the future climate of Sri Lanka. Moreover, farm animal production, fisheries and forestry also seem to be negatively affected by climate change. Sea level rise as a result of global warming, poses another threat to coastal agricultural areas due to inundation and salinity development. Climate change impacts and vulnerability show greater regional variations in Sri Lanka as the country has a greater diversity of agro-ecology. Awareness on climate change and its impacts on agriculture is increasing among the relevant stakeholders including farming communities. However, the implementation of field level adaptations are far below the rate of increasing trends of climate change. Farming systems and traditional agricultural practices can provide wide range of opportunities for climate change adaptation and mitigation in the country. Nevertheless, there are challenges and uncertainties in implementing climate change adaptation especially at farmer levels. To overcome these challenges, relevant national policy frameworks need to be strengthened, in a way that can promote farm level adaptations which can empower the coping capacity of farmers to the negative impacts of climate change. Collaborative and participatory research programs need to be promoted for the generation and dissemination of new findings. These findings are important to develop and strengthen both long term and near term regional-specific, multiple adaptation planning at different levels to sustain the food security and economic growth of Sri Lanka in the face of climate change. Climate change communication could facilitate the effective dissemination of knowledge and expertise towards adaptation. Although, numerous research findings available on different aspects of climate change in Sri Lanka, there is a lack of collection of findings, which is a major obstacle for the effective communication. Thus, this chapter synthesizes the available findings on climate change impacts in agriculture, discusses existing and potential adaptation measures, highlights the importance of communicating climate change information to the relevant parties and suggests future prospects. This work is aimed at comprehensive communication of existing knowledge on this topic with researchers, policy makers, extension officers, granting institutions, students and other interested individuals or organizations.


Agriculture Climate change adaptation Climate change communication Climate change impacts Sri Lanka 



The author wishes to thank the team members of the HETC/QIG/W3/PGIA project for their motivation to write this book chapter.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture, University of PeradeniyaPeradeniyaSri Lanka

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