French government expresses support for Sri Lanka’s rubber cultivation development - Opportunity Sri Lanka
French government expresses support for Sri Lanka’s rubber cultivation development

French government expresses support for Sri Lanka’s rubber cultivation development

The Morning: Minister of Plantation Dr. Ramesh Pathirana, and the Ambassador of France to Sri Lanka Eric Lavertu visited the Rubber Research Institute at the Darting Field Estate, Agalawatta recently.

The purpose of this visit was to explore the preparations for the pilot project to strengthen the economy of small rubber plantation owners in Sri Lanka using the latest technology.

The project is being implemented with financial and technical assistance from the French Ministry of Economy.

This project is to be implemented on behalf of small rubber estate owners in Ampara and Monaragala districts. The first training was given to 6000 smallholder rubber estate owners in the Monaragala District on how to apply the latest technology in rubber cultivation.

Minister of Plantation Dr. Ramesh Pathirana stated that the country is currently earning a large income from the export of rubber-related products. Dr. Pathirana noted that his ministry would extend its fullest support to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s programme to develop the country’s manufacturing sector and that the present Government has a definite long-term plan to develop the country’s manufacturing sector.

Dr. Pathirana added that the price of rubber in the country has decreased in 2019 and due to this, many people were reluctant to join rubber cultivation. However, the situation changed with the present Government coming to power, adding that 7.5 metric tonnes of rubber had been exported by 2020.

Dr. Pathirana appreciated the support extended by the French government for the betterment of rubber cultivation in the country and stated that he expects that support in the future as well.

Speaking on the occasion, the High Commissioner of France to Sri Lanka E.H. Eric Lavertu said that the Government of France is ready to assist the development of the Sri Lankan manufacturing sector at any time.

Recalling the friendship between the two countries, the High Commissioner said that he was grateful to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the Government for joining hands with his country for such an innovative project.

The High Commissioner further stated that he is pleased that Sri Lanka has been able to present a better product to the world together with his country.

State Minister State for Establishment Rehabilitation, Tea and Rubber Crops Cultivation and Industrial Modernisation and Promotion of Tea and Rubber Exports Kanaka Herath stated that rubber cultivation in the Kalutara District has been reduced from 1,200 hectares to 1,100 hectares.

Herath added that the reason for this was the various problems faced by rubber growers in the recent past and added that the present Government is committed to developing rubber cultivation by solving those problems.

He noted the Government was working with a long-term plan to develop rubber cultivation in the country and thanked the French government for its support to the current Government.

State Ministry of Company Establishment Reforms, Tea Estate Crops, Tea Factory Modernisation and Tea Export Diversification Secretary Tilakaratne Banda, Rubber Research Institute Chairperson Prof. Sudheera Ranwala, Rubber Research Institute Director Dr. Lakshman Rodrigo, Rubber Research Institute Deputy Director – Research (Biology) Dr. Vasana Wijesundera and others were present at the occasion.

OSL take:

Sri Lanka’s exports sector has shown a steady growth momentum despite facing pandemic challenges. The sector has become one of the main revenue generators in the country. The many trade agreements as well as concessions enjoyed by the country have also helped boost Sri Lanka’s exports. The country’s export crops have also shown an increase in earnings in the past few months. Tea, rubber and coconut as well as cinnamon lead Sri Lanka’s export crops. The government of Sri Lanka has introduced many incentive schemes for these sectors to uplift and develop the export crop industry. Given the continuous expansion of the country’s export crop industry and the assistance received through foreign funding, foreign businesses/investors could explore the growing opportunities in Sri Lanka’s export crop industry.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/08022022/Z_3

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