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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 negligible.

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 said.

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 culture.

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.

 

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