srilankaSri Lanka is a South Asian island country in the Indian Ocean located in the south-east of India. Its capital is Sri Jayawardenapura-Kotte (also called Kotte), located adjacent to the country’s main city Colombo. The population of Sri Lanka, according to 2012 estimates, is 21,481,334. 

The country is divided into nine provinces and 25 administrative districts. The districts are sub-divided into 256 divisional secretariats, which are further sub-divided into about 14,000 administrative divisions. 

The climate is typical tropical, warm and humid with relatively pleasant climate in higher altitude locations. Rains come in the monsoon season, quite heavy in the highlands while some parts of the country are considered as dry due to minimal rainfall in coastal low lying areas. 

Context

Context

About four-fifth of the districts of Sri Lanka are considered as agricultural, inhabited by over 60 percent of the total population. In 2009, the agriculture sector, which engages about 38 percent of the workforce, contributed about 12 percent to the national GDP even though the contribution has been steadily declining. Mainly, family-owned small sized farms constitute agriculture sector as the number of commercial farms is low. Major exportable commodities are tea, coffee, coconuts, rubber and cinnamon. Rice is the main food crop which covers about 40 percent of the cultivable area, followed by coconut covering about 20 percent of the area. Main vegetables include beans, tomato, cabbage, egg plant, ash plantain, okra and red pumpkin. Main fruits are banana, mango, cashew, papaw, orange, rambutan and lime. Forestry and fisheries are also important economic sectors. 

 

Key Statistics and Indicators

Indicator

Value

Year  

Agricultural land (sq km)

Agricultural land (% of land area)

Arable land (hectares)

Arable land (% of land area)

Arable land (hectares per person)

2610

41.62

1,200,000

19.13

0.05

2009

2009

2009

2009

2009

Fertilizer consumption (per hectare of arable land)

257.92

2009

Agriculture, value added (% of GDP)

Food production index (2004-2006 = 100)

Food exports (% of merchandise exports)

Food imports (% of merchandise imports)

13.69

125.1

26.89

15.35

2011

2010

2010

2010

GNI per capita, Atlas method (current US$)

2580

2011

Literacy rate, adult total (% of people ages 15 and above)

Literacy rate, youth female (% of females ages 15-24)

Literacy rate, youth male (% of males ages 15-24)

Ratio of young literate females to males (% ages 15-24)

Ratio of female to male secondary enrollment (%)

90.55

98.58

97.33

101.28

101.19

2008

2008

2008

2008

2004

Mobile cellular subscriptions (per 100 people)

Internet users (per 100 people)

83.21

12.12

2010

2010

Population, total

Population density (people per sq. km of land area)

Rural population

Rural population (% of total population)

Agricultural population (% of total population)*

Total economically active population**

Total economically active population in agriculture*

Total economically active population in agriculture (in %

    of total economically active population)

Female economically active population in agriculture (% of

     total economically active population in agriculture)*

20,869,000

329.34

17,534,397

84.02

43.25

7,627,761

4,028,000

52.80

37.23

2011

2010

2010

2010

2010

2006

2010

2010

2010

Sources: The World Bank; *Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO, **Bulletin of Labour Force Statistics of Sri Lanka 2006 

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Acknowledgements

  • Authored by M. Kalim Qamar (August 2012) 
  • Edited by Burton E. Swanson

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