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Social care programme for cinnamon growers

BALAPITIYA: The Ministry of Agriculture intend to introduce a special social care and pension scheme to ensure the professional security of small-scale cinnamon land holders and workers engaged in the cinnamon related industries.

Agriculture Minister Hema Kumara Nanayakkara made this disclosure when he attended the Annual Conference of Cinnamon Growers’ Association, comprising 51 Agricultural Export Promotion Societies which was held under his patronage at Ambagaspitiya Viharaya premises, Balapitiya, Thursday.

The Minister said it is the bounden duty of the Government to ensure the professional security of cinnamon growers and workers in cinnamon related industries who contribute approximately Rs. 7,253 million annually to the National Revenue.

The scheme in view will benefit them on the same level as provided for under the Farmers’ Pension Scheme and that within the next few days a draft of the scheme will be made available to the cinnamon growers after discussion with the Agricultural and Agrarian Services Council.

At this conference it was decided to establish a Cinnamon Processing Centre at Kotuwila, Galle and to implement the special programme under the control of Agricultural Exports Department. Agricultural Exports Department Director Mahanama Ilangasinghe, Cinnamon Growers’ Association President Saman Ranasinghe and Galle District Director S.M.J.R. Lindara also addressed the gathering.

The Conference was organised by the District Office of the Agricultural Exports Department.

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