(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Sri Lanka’s most trusted poultry group Crysbro, commends the government’s initiative to revive and reinforce Sri Lanka’s maize cultivation industry in a bid to bolster the country’s food security agenda. Spearheaded by President GotabhayaRajapakshe and actioned by the Agriculture Ministry of Sri Lanka, the initiative is the first step towards making the country self-sufficient in maize, as well as a step towards eradicating poverty in the rural areas of Sri Lanka by empowering the poultry and animal husbandry industries.
The new initiative activated by the Ministry of Agriculture’s minor crop cultivation unit, re-introduced maize cultivation to the Polonnaruwa District in a larger scale in March 2019. Under this project, The Ministry of Agriculture supports maize farmers in this region with much-needed access to post-harvest management technology and knowledge, seeds, cultivation technology and other lucrative market opportunities to find financial prosperity in their work.
“Sri Lanka’s annual demand for maize to be used in poultry feed stands at approx. 450,000 metric tons and currently only about 225,000 metric tons is supplied from within the country to fulfill this need. The rest of the 225,000 metric tonnes have to be imported at the cost of a massive amount of foreign exchange and Rs. 10 in taxes for every kilogram of maize. An increase in maize cultivation would garner massive savings and reduce tax spend which is an advantage that can be passed down to poultry consumers in the country. It is also a step towards boosting the country’s rural economy by directing money into the hands of the farming community. Therefore, the strong efforts made by the government to revive maize cultivation are very timely,” said Crysbro Senior Marketing Manager, Amores Sellar.
With maize being a primary raw material used in the production of poultry feed, Crysbro spends a billion LKR annually to purchase maize from farmers. This magnanimous initiative secures the income of the local maize farmers and saves the significant amount of foreign exchange spent on its import. Under this programme, maize is purchased from more than 2000 farmers in the suburbs of Moneragala, Mahiyanganaya and Anuradhapura. Crysbro is also equipped with state-of-the-art storage facilities to house the maize purchased from the farmers and maintains a storage complex with a capacity of 16,000 metric tons in Siyambalanduwa.
As the company buys maize directly from farmers without any intermediaries, Crysbro also provides farmers with the highest amount of money paid by a local company for maize. Through this, the company aims to reduce rural poverty. Income from maize provided to the farmers is credited to their accounts on the day of harvest and sale.