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Commodity Fund official here to discuss new projects

COMMODITIES: The visiting Managing Director of the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC), Ali Mchumo, yesterday stressed the need for the Government and the private sector to make the maximum use of projects financed by CFC as developing economies such as Sri Lanka largely depend on the export of commodities.

Mchumo who is here to observe the ongoing CFC financed projects and to hold discussions with various Ministers and officials on new projects said that it has become increasingly important to disseminate information about CFC projects and project results in order to gain maximum benefit from them.

The CFC is currently engaged in several projects in Sri Lanka mainly in the sectors of coconut, coir, rubber, tea and several non-traditional agricultural products.

In addition, it covers other commodity sectors that could be of interest to Sri Lanka including, hard fibres, jute, citrus, fruits, bamboo and fish. Mchumo during his visit is scheduled to meet the Minister of Plantation Industries and the Minister of Fisheries and officials of the Commerce Department.

Mchumo said that one of the main objectives of the Fund at present is to promote various commodities in different regions in order to enable them to obtain maximum prices in the international market.

"Governments can forward us with project proposals and we finance such projects depending on how effective they are in meeting our objectives. Our projects aim at areas such as pre and post harvest productivity. The results of these projects can be used by the private sector effectively to promote their exports," Mchumo said.

The Common Fund for Commodities is an inter-governmental financial institution established within the framework of the United Nations. The Fund's specific mandate is to support developing countries that are commodity dependent to improve and diversify commodities production and trade.

The Fund's projects typically have a market development and poverty alleviation orientation; and through a variety of project-based initiatives, the Fund places a high premium on development of commodities-based economies upon which the producers and exporters depend for their livelihoods.

The Fund currently has a membership of 106 countries and institutional members including the European Community (EC).

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