Netherlands to provide innovative agro know-how to ‘Grow Food’ programme in Sri Lanka.
Daily FT: The Netherlands has assured to extend further support to Sri Lanka especially with know-how to the Government’s “Grow Food” programme.
This assurance was given when Netherlands Ambassador Bonnie Horbach called on Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena recently.
The Premier thanked the Netherlands for the assistance provided to infrastructure development and agriculture and various other sectors and urged for technical know-how and more investments in agriculture, information technology, renewable energy, transport and tourism.
Horbach said Sri Lanka has vast potential in many areas including information technology, tourism and agriculture and she was confident that her country would undertake more projects once the global economic situation gets over the current difficult phase.
The Prime Minister explained the ‘Grow Food’ programmes undertaken by the Government at 14,000 Grama Sevaka divisions and said that in addition to the Maha season of paddy, cultivation of many other crops in hitherto uncultivated lands is likely to provide a good yield by the first quarter of next year.
Ambassador Horbach said her country has advanced in innovative agro technology and the Netherlands expertise could be provided to Sri Lanka. She said that the Netherland scientists have developed a new variety of potato that can grow in salty lands as most areas of her country is closer to sea and the land consist of saline water and that potato seeds could be provided to Sri Lanka to start potato cultivations in areas close to sea, especially in the north and east.
They also discussed other areas for collaboration, including climate change, trade and commerce, ports development and joint projects.
The new Netherlands Ambassador assured the Prime Minister her prime task would be to promote bilateral ties and development cooperation during her tenure in Sri Lanka.
The rapidly increasing demand for food and the impending food crisis in the country have opened up many business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s agriculture industry. Identify the growing demand in the country’s agriculture industry, foreign financial institutions have also pledged support to uplift and develop Sri Lanka’s agriculture industry. There’s a growing need for seeds, fertiliser, machinzation, promoting home gardening systems, technology and technical expertise to increase Sri Lanka’s agriculture outputs. The expanding opportunities in the agriculture industry have therefore presented lucrative business/investment opportunities to foreign businesses/investors. These businesses could also look at the development of supplementary infrastructure facilities required by the agriculture industry, especially in increasing warehouse facilities and other storage mechanics to minimize wastage of agricultural produce.
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