Sri Lanka Hayleys commercial farming project wins recognition

Apr 06, 2010 (LBO) – A project to help farmers in Sri Lanka’s former war zone by Hayleys, a big exporter of gherkins to global food chains, has won an award from its partner, the US Agency for International Development. A USAID statement said the project was chosen from 700 such initiatives around the world to receive USAID™s 2009 Global Development Alliance (GDA) Award.

It said the alliance with Hayleys fosters commercial agriculture in Sri Lanka™s Eastern Province, recovering from the effects of a 30-year war which ended in May 2009.

“When the project was launched the war was not over and both organizations took a risk in committing human and other resources to make the project a success, despite the prevailing situation,” said Hayleys chairman Mohan Pandithage.

The agribusiness companies within the Hayleys group™s account for 34 percent of Sri Lanka™s exports of fruit and vegetables and a quarter of the inputs in the local agriculture sector.

Hayleys group is the sole exporter of gherkins from Sri Lanka and the second largest in Asia, processing more than 11,000 tonnes a year, which accounts for half of the market for bottled pickles in Japan, the USAID statement said.

The compan