National program of establishing 5000 Export Zone Villages to begin today

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – The national program of establishing 5000 “Export Program Villages” will be launched today from Dehiattakandiya, Chandanagama village in Ampara district under the patronage of Minister of Primary Industries and Social Empowering Daya Gamage.

The objective of the Agriculture Sector Modernization Project – Value Added Development Program is to promote the primary products of the farmers through an integrated process of value addition to suit the export market. Under the program 5000 export villages will be constructed in two phases.

Agriculture Sector Modernization Project is a total investment proposal for entrepreneurs with innovative ideas in the agriculture sector. The total cost of the project is US$ 169.84 million, out of which US$ 125 million is from the International Development Association (IDA) and is supported by the World Bank.

The main objectives of the Agriculture Sector Modernization Project are:
1. Identifying modern agricultural techniques and new marketing practices for farmer organizations
2. Increasing the country’s GDP
3. Modernization of agriculture and Diversification
4. Productivity Improvement
5. Value development of agricultural products
6. Traceability of the product from the consumer to the place where the product or service was produced
7. Good Agricultural Practices
8. Production of goods according to standard standards
9. Increase export competitiveness and enter the foreign market

Plans have been formulated to set up 5,000 export production villages in the country in order to promote value addition in the integrated process, in accordance with the initial production of primary products produced by farmers. Accordingly, the productive resources of the villages are selected according to the abundance of resources.

Farmers will be provided with training facilities, technology, efficient use of resources, farms management, harvesting, packing and transport. It is also planned to provide water to farmers who do not have access to water and access to local market opportunities.

Accordingly, 1200 beneficiaries will be encouraged under this project, based on ten Mahaweli villages using Thuwuwagala, Ussalawinna, Dolawananda, Chandanagama, Diyathivdegama, Wewamadagama, Wewagama, Serupitiya, Polonnaruwa, and Rasakkanda.

In the first phase of the program, 1000 Export Villages will be established in 300 Divisional Secretariats. It is envisaged to complete the setting up of 5,000 Export Villages by 2020.

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