Sri Lanka seeks to turn subsistence farming into agri-business

Nov 06, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka needs to develop and maintain consistent policies and provide appropriate support infrastructure to change subsistence farmers into commercially successful agri-businesses, an expert said. “The most important thing the government can do is to ensure consistent policies on agriculture, land, trade and investment,” said Anoma Ariyawardana of the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Peradeniya.

“The government should also provide infrastructure like roads and power, and ensure access to credit at reasonable cost. It should give high quality seeds and planting material of commercial varieties.”

Ariyawardana told a public on constraints to agribusiness development in Sri Lanka that effective training of agriculture extension workers and productivity and marketing oriented extension services were also a critical need.

Improved techniques in production, processing and packaging were other critical requirements.

The forum was organised by the Pathfinder Foundation under its ‘Sanvada’ (dialogue) programme to focus on policy recommendations for enhancing productivity and competitiveness of agribusiness.

“We need to develop the commercial orientation of the farmers, th