Min. Gamage aims to double Lanka’s primary exports | Daily News

Min. Gamage aims to double Lanka’s primary exports

Primary Industries Minister Daya Gamage said yesterday at a workshop, “Emerging Food Safety and Quality Risks in South Asia: Challenges and Opportunities for Sri Lanka” that his ministry’s goal is to double Sri Lanka’s primary exports and add value to them by introducing new technology and practices.

Speaking at Water’s Edge, Gamage noted that the government hopes to improve Sri Lanka’s export standards so that there are fewer barriers for exports.

The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) is also in the process of formulating plans for ten export centres near farms that would directly link farmers with exporters.

“These value-addition centres would also provide training on the best practices for using seeds and fertilizers and harvesting crops,” Gamage said.

He added that his ministry is working on spreading the use of greenhouses in the country, and that it is in discussions to bring in the technology from China, Israel and Thailand, among others.

In order to increase investment in the agricultural sector, the MPI and Ministry of Agriculture are working with the World Bank.

“If investors can front Rs. 10 million, they can go for a project of Rs. 100 million. They can receive a grant of Rs. 50 million and loans for Rs. 40 million,” he said.

Gamage also argued that more efforts should be made to reduce food wastage in the country. “We see wastage of 30 percent of agricultural products from the time they are harvested to the time they reach the consumer. By investing in improving harvesting, transport, storage, and packaging, we can reduce the amount of wastage by 90 percent.” “We have to increase our food yields, safety, hygiene, and production techniques. We also have to develop sustainable mechanisms like seed banks to ensure that these food sources are available for future generations,” he said.


 

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