Industrial Estate and Aquacultural Industrial Park to be opened in Mannar
Industrial Estate and Aquacultural Industrial Park to be opened in Mannar

Industrial Estate and Aquacultural Industrial Park to be opened in Mannar

Sri Lankan government has continued with its plans to develop the northern region of the country and the latest development has come in the form of an Industrial Estate in the Mannar region. The approval by the cabinet has been granted for the 24 acres of land in the region to be used for the purposes of setting up an industrial park to attract investors. Government sources have cited that this Industrial estate will have potential to include garment, fish processing plants and various fishing related equipment production, salt based and chemical products as well as certain agriculture products. Governments plans in establishing the estate could revitalize also somewhat diluted industries of salt production and fish canning which were massive in the region prior to the break out of war.

The region will also be home to an upcoming establishing of one of the two aqua cultural plants. One will be based in the Batticaloa and the second one in Mannar with also a Crab City based in Hambantota. The announcement was made by Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, who was speaking at the Second International Ornamental Fish Trade and Technical Conference held in Colombo. It is expected that these projects would contribute towards doubling the export earnings from the industry.

The work on the 3,000 hectare Mannar park was to begin in March as per comments and he expressed his view that out of the 116 lagoons that Sri Lanka possesses with setting up of several breeding centers along with development aqua cultural resources in these regions. Primary Industries Minister Daya Gamage who also participated in the event commented that the global ornamental fish industry is worth more than 3billion US$ with 300 million US$ of export market and that currently Sri Lanka is the sixth biggest supplier of ornamental fish to the world.

He further remarked on the history of the Sri Lankan fish industry which currently has over 50 years of history, dating back to 1952. He also commented on how the overexploitation of ornamental fish species had forced the government to sanction strict regulations to ensure a sustainable industry and also to encourage freshwater farming of fish. He also noted that despite Sri Lanka’s largest buyers being USA, Japan and Hong Kong as well the EU countries, Sri Lanka only provides 5% of the global demand highlighting how there was room to grow.
As an update to this project on June 12th, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera commented that the “Sri Lankan Fish Exporters Association” had granted their approval to investing in the aqua culture development industry. His comments made at a meeting held in District Secretariat of Batticaloa provides some indication as the scale and cost of the project as well as governments objective in funding these types of projects.

He was quoted “The present government decided to establish 2 Aquaculture Parks, one in Mannar with a cost of Rs 5000 million and another in Batticaloa with an estimated cost of Rs. 40,000 million, with the aim of enhancing the economical status of the people in these areas who had once been severely affected by war. When I came up with the idea of this project and directed it to His Excellency, he informed me that we are pledged to originate ways of income for the people in North and Eastern area. He firmly believes that it would be much easier to develop the country if public faith on the government is ensured by such development schemes.”

Source for above

He further added that the ministry will offer 120,000 jobs in the field of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Development and 40,00 job opportunities will be created under the two Aquaculture Industrial Park to be established in Mannar and Batticaloa. Another 60,000 jobs is expected to be available with the implementation of the programme in association with Fish and aquatic plants food center in Kapparatota and breeding centres and other aquatic resources across Sri Lanka.

OSL Take

The government’s commitment to revitalizing a war torn yet economically immensely promising region is to be lauded. Offering a diverse set of industries that work in sync with the existing forms of livelihoods and culture is also a very effective method as seen by the aquaculture park. The investors could thrive on the region due to a number of reasons, primary among them the already established fishing industry and government backed projects to entice freshwater farming and development of aquatic resources. Another potential reason is the long-established culture and livelihoods that had been the way for many years enabling a smoother transition to rapid growth. With the right investment and right funding, the aquaculture parks have massive potential in transforming Sri Lankan aquatic and marine product industry to one of the leading industries in the world.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/03072017/Z_2

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