The Ministry of Agriculture has decided to set up the third sour banana export processing factory in Hambantota Muravasihena area using a warehouse belonging to the Paddy Marketing Board as there are orders from many countries for sour bananas in Sri Lanka.
Arrangements have been made to start the third sour banana export processing zone covering Embilipitiya, Hambantota and Sewanagala using 800 acres.
The first sour banana export processing zone and processing center has been established in Rajanganaya. Additionally, the second sour banana export processing zone was established in Jaffna.
The agriculture sector modernization project of the Ministry of Agriculture has taken measures to expand sour banana cultivation in 800 acres in Rajanganaya and 400 acres in Jaffna. Arrangements have been made to start the third sour banana export processing zone covering Embilipitiya, Hambantota and Sewanagala using 800 acres.
A discussion regarding this matter was held at the Ministry of Agriculture yesterday (12). Mr. Gunadasa Samarasinghe Secretary of Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Rohan Perera the Director of agriculture sector modernization project, Secretary of Southern provincial Ministry of Agriculture and several officers of Ministry of Agriculture participated to this discussion which is headed by Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera Hon. Minister of Agriculture.
The Post-harvest Institute of Technology is providing the necessary funding for the construction of this Sour Banana Export Processing Centre. The amount spent for this is Rs. 65m. All the machines and equipment required for this processing center are to be purchased from a locally manufactured company.
At present, an export businessman in Dubai has come forward to export pumpkin, cassava and some other vegetables in addition to sour bananas in our country. Orders have been received from many countries for vegetables and fruits in our country. Therefore, the Minister of Agriculture has instructed the officials to complete the construction work of the Muravasihena Sour Banana Export Processing Center by December.
800 farmers are to be selected in the third Sour Banana Export Processing Zone and they are going to be provided with the high-density cultivation method, technology and technical equipment for growing bananas, business opportunities to purchase the harvest of the plantation, all under the guidance of the Agricultural Sector Modernization Project.
Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera Hon. Minister of Agriculture who expressed his views in here –
Farmers must be motivated to grow agricultural products that are in demand in order to make farming profitable in our country. Actions should be taken by the agricultural sectors for that matter. Because most of the farmers are resorting to easy crops, they do not get proper harvest and income. Also, there is no higher demand for the harvest in the market.
That is why they say farming is always a loss. However, we can cultivate many things that the world demands in our own country. There wasn’t a higher demand for sour bananas before. But, many countries demand sour bananas from us at present. But we can export only if we cultivate according to the international standards.
The complete state-of-the-art technology required for that is provided by the Agriculture Sector Modernization Project. The Minister has also said that every Saturday we send one container of our sour bananas to the Dubai market.