Capturing sustainable technology benefits
A durable technological environment is a
reality in several areas like agriculture, industry, tourism,
telecommunications and Internet access. Optimum productivity levels
seeping in due to technology use seemed well within reachable sights in
What is manifestly clear is that modernization is occurring not at a
strained profusion rate but as a living force with its own needs and
tendencies. That said we are seeing the impressive rate of growth as
substantiated by the most current data.
Paddy harvest accruing from the ten rice-growing districts in the
country stood at a burgeoning level of 93,679 million bushels and 54,311
million bushels respectively during Yala and Maha seasons in 2009-2010.
Fertilizer use under the national subsidy scheme had reached a
staggering volume of 371.440 tons in the ten districts. Trends in the
use of improved varieties of rice and crop rotation looked quite
favourable while storage and marketing efficiencies bodes well for
greater things to come.
Technology in agriculture is nothing more than efficient conversion
of inputs of seeds, fertilizer and water into food. Efforts to bring
uncultivated lands into production in the North and East seemed to be
occurring as I write.
Technological improvements in the industrial sector are equally
momentous. The range is extensive: cement factories, automobile assembly
plants, refinery products, oil tanks and building industry come to mind.
The tech-quotient (TQ) in industry is quite compelling. Most
industries tend to be technology-driven. More importantly, they are
technology inducing. The airports are a good example.
Airports control the inflow of traffic and cause other auxiliary
activities to be feeding the main objectives of the industry to a T. The
boom in tourism compels the industry to be tech-oriented.
Aero industry itself will get a boost as training facilities for
pilots, and for those involved in the accessories to aviation industry
spin-off into more diverse areas of activity.
Transportation is already awakening to the accelerated development
imperative. The surrounding areas close to the airports are becoming the
centres of vibrant growth in commerce and entertainment with a cultural
bent providing the ‘value added’ input for tourism.
Tech-based education no myth
We are witnessing major strides in the use of tech-based educational
access. This is no myth. The growth of the Internet is amazingly rapid.
The Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal stated
recently: “We are providing the space for people to make Sri Lanka a
knowledge hub and we believe this is going to be something very
interesting and important. Sri Lanka has the climate, the people who can
do that and now we are providing the opportunity for them to do that.”
Mobile phone usage reached 85 percent this year. Cell phone usage
ratio was 12.1 percent for 100 people in 2003. The ratio for fixed line
telephones was 4.9 percent in 2003. It is at 16.78 percent at present.
Government sponsored Information Centre (GIC) has caught on. Over
four million people had called the GIC number 2009 to receive this
service in Sinhala, Tamil and English. UN’s World Summit Awards (WSA)
bestowed several international awards to telecom technologies in Sri
Poverty reduction on target
The predictable rise in private sector investments from domestic and
foreign sources would triple to over 25 percent. Public sector
investments are accelerating by about six to seven percent and total
investment level would increase to over 30 percent within a short time.
Governor Cabraal also predicted that the poverty level in the county
will be brought down to less than four percent from the current 7.6
Employment opportunities are rising substantially. He is confident
that the IT literacy ratio will reach 75 percent by 2016 which was only
16.6 percent in 2007.
The take-off of the economy into high gear is discernible. The
banking sector is operating at near peak level as demand for borrowing
is at a historical high.
The country’s image has improved and glowing reports from well-known
investment sources attest to it.
They considered Sri Lanka to be second fastest growing Asian economy.
IMF gave the country a middle income emerging market status.
The number of new and large infrastructure development projects such
as ports and airports, roads, power and water projects, economic zones,
hotels and hospitals provided the irrefutable evidence to the rising
economic tempo in the country.