Cargills to help farmers in Eastern Province
WB to fund $ 64m for project:
Cargills Ceylon Ltd. in collaboration with the Ministry of Nation
Building and the World Bank will launch a project next month to help
farmers in the conflict hit areas in the Eastern province.
The World Bank will fund US$ 64 million for the project estimated to
cost US$ 80 million to develop farming and livestock in the province.
Cargills which operates in 19 districts has now moved into the
conflict affected areas to develop agriculture and the livestock sectors
by buying the produce directly from farmers.
Agriculture Manager, Cargills Ceylon Ltd., Haridas Fernando said the
company as in other districts will buy vegetables, rice, fruits, fish
and milk from farmers in the East which will help reduce waste and
eliminate the middleman.
Farmers are paid 20 per cent more than the market price by selling
the same produce to customers at 20 per cent less.
A minimum guaranteed price is assured for each produce compared to
the cost of production. "We will pay a better price for farmers and
customers by eliminating the middleman and reducing post harvest waste
which is below 5 per cent compared to the national loss of 40 per cent,"
Cargills links its factories with the farmers and fishermen in the
districts through the collecting centres. The World Bank has commended
the strategy as a unique model to reduce poverty and regional disparity.
A training program on methods to reduce post harvest losses and
improving quality will be conducted jointly with the World Bank for
farmers in Batticaloa and Ampara at the Thambuththegama and Norochcholai
collecting centres early next month.
Cargills will invest Rs. 100 million to process rice in the East to
link farmer organisations and cooperatives. Processing rice and other
produce at grassroot level will provide employment and a better income
to the rural community," he said.