Sri Lankan government to modernize agriculture through technology with Chinese and Indian assistance
The government of Sri Lanka is reportedly looking at reaching several agreements with India and China in order to put in place a mechanism to link smallholder farmers into modern agriculture value chains.
“We are in discussions with China and India to support us to modernise our agriculture sector with necessary technology and technical transfers. We hope to sign these Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) by the end of this year,” Social Welfare and Primary Industries Minister of Sri Lanka Daya Gamage has told Daily FT recently.
He has told the media that the Ministry had already entered into similar agreement with the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives of Thailand, where they encourage farmer-agribusiness partnerships to diversify and promote high-value, export-oriented food crops.
“By exploring new opportunities and partnerships like this helps to attract new technology that is needed to modernise the highly labour intense agriculture sector. It also creates attractive job opportunities for women and youth which will help to increase rural incomes,” Gamage has noted.
According to him, the initiative is an outcome of the World Bank funded project to modernise the agriculture sector. “The World Bank granted over US$ 100 million to support value chain development to promote commercial and export-oriented agriculture, with focus on higher value agriculture products, such as fruits and vegetables.”
He has said it also provides investments to improve productivity and diversify production patterns through modern agriculture technology demonstrations in key areas and supports new institutional arrangements through farmer organizations and farmer-agribusiness partnerships.
The move to upgrade the country’s agriculture sector by introducing the latest technologies with assistance from India and China would boost Sri Lanka’s agriculture exports. Sri Lanka already has trade agreements with several countries as well as trade concessions from the EU and US, which would be beneficial to any business engaged in exporting goods from Sri Lanka. Therefore, Sri Lanka provides an excellent base for foreign businesses interested in exporting goods from Sri Lanka to overseas markets.
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