Sri Lankan agri-business offers support for farmers

July 25, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s National Agribusiness Council (NAC) has started a scheme to help farmers get better access to markets and other skills and resources. Representatives of farmer councils set up under the NAC’s aegis signed an agreement to form a federation at the Ag-Biz trade fair over the weekend.

The aim is to help farmers organize more effectively and gain better access to credit and markets and eventually a better price for their produce, said Mario de Alwis, former president of NAC.

A group of around 500 farmers from 10 farmers’ councils throughout the island came to Colombo and their leaders signed a memorandum of understanding to form the federation on Saturday.

The trade fair and exhibition was organized by the NAC and the Sri Lanka Food processors Associations (SLFPA).

The two organizations represent a range of agribusiness interests from planting and growing, to processing and packaging and machinery and equipment and service providers.

The aim of getting farmers to organize themselves was to better integrate them into the food products value chain and link up with the corporate sector.

The NAC identified one