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DateLine Thursday, 15 May 2008

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Hayleys Agro to invest in East

Rizvi Zaheed

Hayleys Agro Products Ltd, (HAPL), a subsidiary of Hayleys Group together with the National Agri Business Council will work with Eastern Province farmer communities to promote agriculture in the region, Hayleys Group Director Rizvi Zaheed said.

Talking to the Daily News Business he said that they are planning to expand their agriculture business in the Eastern Province with the establishing of normalcy. They are exploring and assessing investment opportunities in the Eastern Province focusing on the agriculture sector.

He said as the agriculture productivity level is very low in the Eastern Province the company intends to promote a spate of activities of agriculture crop protection, education of fertilizer use for farmers and setting up bio technology labs in the area.

Zaheed said that they have already started a pilot project to introduce better value-added crops in the forthcoming Yala season in certain farm lands in the Eastern Province and if that proves to be successful they will introduce the entire concept to the whole of the Province.

"The company was in physically present in the Eastern Province for a very long time and returning to the normalcy is an impetus for us to invest in the agriculture business in the area," Heyleys Consumers Director/Chief Executive Officer Trevor Reckerman said.

Paddy farmers at work.

They also will train the local farmers to use bio-technology to produce high yielding other crops such as banana, pineapple, strawberries and other crops for the domestic market.

He said their products range from crop protection chemicals, insecticides, fungicides and weedicides to vegetable seeds, seed paddy and seed potatoes, fertiliser, agri-equipment including sprayers, tractors, combine harvesters and threshers; micro irrigation systems and animal health products including antibiotics, biological feed additives and veterinary pharmaceuticals.

Marketed under a one-stop concept, the company's products are widely available in over 90 per cent of agricultural outlets in the country, he said.

"We could sustain peace and harmony in the Eastrn region as most of the farmers are undergoing difficulty in selling their produce and low productivity in agriculture lands," he said.

A major new area of involvement for Hayleys is the use of biotechnology for the local production of early generation seed potato, a project that will bring significant savings in foreign exchange and improve yields and quality.

"This early generation planting material is expected to provide 10 to 15 per cent higher yields than the traditional late generation seed potato imported mainly from Europe and is less susceptible to pests and diseases.



Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Ceylinco Banyan Villas

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