Government allocates 40,000 acres for agriculture
The Government has allocated 40,000 acres of land for the private
sector in Monaragala, Wellawaya, Minneriya, Sabaragamuwa and
Mahiyanganaya up to Badulla to develop the agriculture sector.
Sarath de Silva
The Economic Development Ministry and the Treasury is keen on this
project. Utilizing these lands for cultivations would provide a better
harvest for the local consumption as well as for the exports. The
companies have already submitted their applications to the Economic
Development Ministry and to the Board of Investment (BOI) to acquire
these lands National Chamber of Exporters Chairman, Sarath de Silva told
Daily News Business.
He said companies are ready to commence cultivation by December this
They hope to have a harvest by mid next year. “We need increased food
consumption as the country is aiming to achieve 2.5 million tourist
arrivals by 2016,” he said.
The growers should focus on providing more high end fruits and
vegetables and organic food while concentrating on tropical foods.
The 40,000 acre lands will provide a better chance for the country to
have a surplus of raw material.
“The agricultural product exporters are keen to cultivate perenial
crops like pomegranate and grapes since there is a high demand for these
products. We have educated farmers to adopt modern and high-tech
agricultural methods to have a better harvest,” he said.
The demand for food in the international market is enormous. The
global warming has affected so much that it has created a massive demand
“There is an increasing demand for organic food in all parts of the
world. Sri Lanka has a better opportunity to cater to this niche market
as we have all the natural resources,” de Silva said. The reduced
interest rates and the instructions given by the Central Bank to the
banks to provide loans for the exporters is encouraging. The local
entrepreneurs should take the advantage of this opportunity before the
foreign investments come in.