ECONOMYNEXT – The French embassy is keen to support Sri Lanka to develop the manufacturing sector, a plantation ministry statement said.
As part of a project to uplift the small-holder rubber sector it has trained 6,000 farmers to use the latest technology in rubber cultivation, it said.
The project is to be implemented for small rubber estate owners in Ampara and Moneragala districts.
As part of the initial training, 6,000 smallholder rubber estate owners in the Moneragala District had been trained with the latest cultivation technology in the sector, a statement from the plantation ministry had.
Both the financial and technical assistance is provided by the French Ministry of Economy.
Plantation Minister Ramesh Pathirana said that Sri Lanka’s rubber export sector has been generating higher income over the years and the government has a long-term plan to strengthen the country’s manufacturing sector.
According to Export Development Board Sri Lanka’s rubber export earnings in 2021 is one billion dollars and the board (EDB) intends to increase it to three billion dollars by 2025.
The government of France has said it is ready to assist Sri Lanka at any time to develop the manufacturing sector.
The plantation sector has been hit by a shortage of fertilizer after the government imposed a ban on the importation of chemical fertilizer.
Sri Lanka’s planters association had warned that rubber could be wiped out in 2022 due to the spread of leaf disease and a lack of adequate fertilizer.
Last year, the planters association said around 20,000 hectares were affected by a leaf disease (Pestalotiopsis).
Rubber plantation experts said at the time it has reached an epidemic level. (Colombo/Jan26/2022)