LFVPPEA conducts seminar with LIRNEasia
The Lanka Fruit and Vegetable Producers, Processors and Exporters
Association (LFVPPEA) together with LIRNEasia recently conducted a
seminar to disseminate the results of a value chain study conducted by
the researchers at LIRNEasia following studies in which the exporters of
the LFVPPEA had participated.
LIRNEasia CEO Rohan Samarajiva, and LFVPPEA Chairman Gnanskandan
introduced the programme which covered an exchange of diverse
information gathered through studies conducted by LIRNEasia and
practical experience of the LFVPPEA members. LIRNEasia was able to draw
on similar studies in India and Bangladesh.
Micro enterprise surveys conducted by LIRNEasia among the grower
community in Sri Lanka revealed that there was a mismatch between the
flow of information between growers and buyers. Vital information with
regard to the demand for produce, quality expectations and time lines
was not consistent. The majority of growers do not have knowledge of the
specific nature of the demand or the prices at which they could sell
their produce. This appeared to be a huge disadvantage for Sri Lankan
farmers, the study said.
The study further said that one of Sri Lanka's mobile service
providers had initiated the creation of a information platform for the
exchange of such information but as of date the usage of the facility is
Comparatively ICT and other information dissemination systems are
extensively used by growers in India who it could be said were better
equipped with knowledge to plan their cultivation. The benefits of
co-operative farming programmes in India were supported by case studies.
For this reason such practices appeared to best achieve the objectives
of farmers, growers and buyers in India. Sri Lanka should take a cue
from India in developing the agri sector of the country, Samarajiva
Research Manager, Nilusha Kapugama's study on the value chain for
pineapples in Sri Lanka reflected that, although there was a constant
demand for pineapples, both from the local and export markets, the
cultivation of pineapple has reduced significantly. The reason for this
was twofold. Firstly there was less accessibility of land available for
cultivation. Secondly and most importantly it was identified that there
was a shortage of disease free planting material. Reference was made to
the necessity for access to planting material which arose from tissue
The study stressed the practical application of traceability and how
and where the gaps needed to be filled in to maximize the export
potential for fruits and vegetables from Sri Lanka. It also highlighted
the need where knowledge mapping proved to be a useful exercise.