Organic Agro Crops for Export Workshop

Cultivation and Processing of Organic Agro Crops for Export “Workshop with an International Perspective “

Press Release: International and National speakers are making presentations at a workshop titled “Cultivation and Processing of Organic Agro Crops for Export” to be held on March 02, 2016 from 0830 -1630 at Hilton Colombo Residences, Union Place, Colombo 02.

This unique workshop with an international perspective is managed by TJ Associates, World Trade Center, Colombo 01, a company offering a package of services to entrepreneurs and investors.

Internationally recognized speakers together with presenters from the Industry will address the workshop giving more focus to cultivating organic agriculture crops and processing and marketing them in International markets.

They will share their knowledge on current challenges and provide recommendations and solutions on organic farming to participants such as growers, exporters, potential exporters, land owners, investors, horticulturists, home gardeners and even beginners.

Dr. Sambanda Murti, Former Dean, College of Horticulture, Tamilnadu Agricultural University in India would arrive in Sri Lanka to make a special presentation on “Principles of Organic Farming”.

The main presentation on “Potential of Organic Agriculture in Sri Lanka and Global Marketing Trends for Organic Agriculture Products“ would be made by Dr Sarath Ranaweera , Chairman , Bio Foods Pvt Ltd , a dedicated organic and certified Fairtrade company established in 1993 exporting organic and Fairtrade products such as green tea, black tea, herbal teas, spices , coconut products and traditional rice to many developed countries in the world.

Dr. Ranaweera would explain why Sri Lanka need to create self sustaining agricultural production systems in the country that would lead to developing a stable and a balanced ecosystem, encouraging all natural cycles (eg. nutrients), protecting soil, water, animals, plants and human health, which would in turn result in creating a economically viable production system in the long term.

He would enlighten the audience about history of organic farming, origin and evolution of the organic movement in the modern world, the current definition of organic agriculture, why organic cultivation is needed, types of organic agriculture, current challenges and how to sustain organic farming.

Dr. Ranweera is a pioneer entrepreneur in the organic export field in the country and the Fairest Fair Trader Award winner in 2014 from Global Fair Trade Organization awarded to outstanding individuals within the global fair-trade system. His experience would be invaluable for exporters and other participants planning to develop their activities in organic agriculture.

A representative from Lanka Organic Pvt Ltd, a company processing tea, spices, cashew, fruits and vegetables for over 25 years, is presenting how the company is value adding organic agriculture products for International Markets.

These two main exporting companies could also help to create buy back arrangements for participants engaged in cultivation of organically certified agro products.

A presentation on “True Value Addition – Organic Agricultural Crops in particular spices” would be made by Mr. K R Dayananda, Senior R&D manager of Silvermill Group, former FAO consultant and senior research officer and Industrial Technology Institute.

The role of the Ministry and Department of Agriculture in promoting organic farming will be presented by a senior official while the officer in charge of organic export sector at the Export Development Board of Sri Lanka will address the participants on EDB assistance available to companies cultivating and processing organic products in entering international markets.

Managing Director of Mihimadala Pvt Ltd who has successfully launched several projects in different parts of the country to supply organically certified products to leading retail establishments and local consumers is also making a presentation to share his experiences.

Presentations on production of organic fertilizer, bio pesticides and bio vaccines would be made by Eco planet Pvt Ltd and Bio Power Lanka Pvt Ltd respectively.

Mr. Tilak Kariyawasam, founder and Managing Director of Sri Cert and the President of Lanka Organic Agriculture Movement is presenting certification services offered by Sri Cert, a locally originated certification body. Sricert is aiming to provide more affordable certification services to the small organic farmer groups engaged in cultivating fruits and vegetables for marketing in leading supermarkets chains and other retail institutions.

Control Union Inspection Services Pvt Ltd , a leading provider of organic inspection services to cultivators of organic agro crops and processers for export markets is making a detailed presentation on main certification programs available in Sri Lanka and methods by which cost of certification could be brought down to an individual farmer.

A representative from Sarvodaya Finance, managing the ”Cooperation for Industrial Development Lanka –Coopid”, the very first cooperative producing organically certified cocoa in Sri Lanka, will present how small organic farmers of spices, traditional rice and cocoa in the districts of Matale, Kandy, Anuradhapura, Monaragala, Badulla, Kegalle, and Vauniya benefitted from small loans to supply their products to local and international markets.
Interest in organic agriculture among the farming communities in the country has gained a momentum with a strong private sector engagement and initiatives of many non‐governmental organizations. This workshop will support local and international trade to allow organic farmers to approach agricultural production in a more sustainable manner thus guaranteeing income generation and increased food supply.

Reservations could be made in advance on a first come, first served basis by contacting Chandani on 0766981737 or Siromi on 0718436525 as a limited number of participants would be registered for the workshop.