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‘Agri Deshiya’ re-imagines the use of Kithul sap to tap export destinations



rāgā, an innovative line of organic, kithul-based products was launched by Agri Deshiya (Pvt.) Ltd. – a local company committed to elevating Sri Lanka through value-added agricultural products of Sri Lankan origin to international fame.

The official launch took place on the 14th of December at the opening of the Agri Deshiya factory, which was inaugurated by Minister of Industries, Wimal Weerawansa in the presence of Minister of Coconut, Kithul and Palmyrah Cultivation Promotion, Arundika Fernando and the Agri Deshiya management.

The new facility located at the Nalanda Ellawala Industrial Zone, Ratnapura is equipped with state-of-the-art brewing and canning technologies, enabling rāgā products to revolutionise one of Sri Lanka’s most beloved yet, severely under-utilised foods: Kithul.

“We are extremely proud of the fact that, through rāgā, we have not just reimagined the potential of our island nation’s underappreciated agro-resources such as Kithul, but we have also paved the way for the traditional, village level Kithul tapping trade to become an internationally recognised industry. As an organisation that is built on the principles of people care, earth care and fair share, we have considered all aspects of the value chain including the improvement of financial benefits for rural communities to enhance their way of life, and thereby benefitting Sri Lanka as a whole,” said Prabath De Alwis, Chairman of Agri Deshiya (Pvt.) Ltd.

Driven by local innovation, sustainability and ethical production, all rāgā products are 100% natural, with no added preservatives. The technology partner, Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) has played a critical role in providing pioneering and unique technologies that have been incorporated at each step of the production process. These advanced mechanisms, including the first ever Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution for the collection of Kithul sap in Sri Lanka, has been put in place to ensure premium quality in every product.

The entire factory is also backed by internationally recognised standards such as ISO 22000 – Food Safety Management System, GMP and HACCP, in addition to the continuous quality testing conducted in-house. To find out more about rāgā and its revolutionary products, please visit

Bringing the best of nature to Sri Lanka and the world, Agri Deshiya Pvt Ltd, founded in 2019, utilises ethical methods in technological agriculture to enhance the industry within the agro-based economy. Through new technologies and care for people and the earth, the Company aims to enhance the country’s economy and develop an agriculturally sustainable future, through the unique raw materials found in the rich soil of the island. The company operates with a desire to elevate Sri Lanka to its highest level of productivity through sustainable utilisation of its natural resources, while providing benefits for all parties involved in the unique and innovative production process. Please visit or email for more information.

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Seven factors of concern at upcoming Monetary Policy Review



by Sanath Nanayakkare

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) is scheduled to announce its latest monetary policy review on 20th January 2022, with all eyes on dwindling foreign reserves and foreign currency exchange in the country.

In this context, First Capital Research has named 7 factors of concern that could be taken into account at the upcoming monetary policy review. They are as follows.

* Foreign Reserves USD 3.1 billion – Dec 2021

* Inflation CCPI 12.1% – Dec 2021

* GDP Growth -1.5% – 3Q2021

* Private Credit LKR 60.5 billion – Nov 2021

* 03M T-Bill rate 8.38% as at 12.01.22

Liquidity and CBSL Holdings LKR -364.0 billion and LKR 1.42 trillion

Balance of Trade (BOT) and Balance of Payment (BOP) USD -6.5 billion and USD -3.3 billion for Jan-Oct 21

First Capital Research’s Policy Rate Forecast – Jan 2022-Apr 2022 notes that they believe the CBSL may highly consider tightening the monetary policy rates in this policy review but given the concerns over economic growth, there is a probability of 40% for CBSL to maintain its policy stance at current levels.

“With high frequent indicators improving in line with expectations, we have eliminated any probability of a rate cut. We expect a continued increase in probability for a rate hike in order to prevent overheating of the economy amidst the given fiscal and monetary stimulus,” they said.

As per First Capital’s view, CBSL either can choose to hike policy rates by 50bps or 100bps or hold policy rates steady, while a rate cut is off the table due to the high debt repayment and the high domestic borrowing requirement.

First Capital believes that there is a 60% probability for a rate hike due to the remedial actions required in achieving external stability.

However, there is also a 40% probability to maintain the policy rates at its current level in order to further improve the high frequency indicators.30%, they noted.

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Sri Lanka’s dash brand enters international markets



Multichemi International Ltd, which manufactures and distributes a wide range of products under dash, one of Sri Lanka’s leading detergent and household care brands, has begun exporting its products to several international markets in Asia and Oceania, with plans also to enter Africa. The dash brand includes a wide range of products in car care, household care, home fragrances and laundry care sectors. Multichemi International Ltd, which has been awarded ISO 9001:2015 certification, is a Sri Lankan pioneer in environment-friendly cleaning products, having launched the country’s first biodegradable, safe cleaning products over 28 years ago.

Amila Wijesinghe, General Manager of the Company said,”Having conquered the domestic market, we are now ready to capture the international market. We are confident that our products which are of high quality will receive a good demand overseas as well. The feedback we have received so far from our overseas customers is extremely encouraging. We are dedicated to taking our products to the international market, to bring in foreign currency to the country and help uplift the economy”,

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Janaka Abeysinghe appointed SLT CEO



Sri Lanka Telecom PLC has announced the appointment of Janaka Abeysinghe as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with effect from February 1, 2022.

The incumbent CEO Kiththi Perera will be overseas on leave for a period of two years to pursue higher studies, according to a stock market filing by the company.

Abeysinghe joined SLT in 1991. In his present role, he leads the enterprise and wholesale business of SLT that provides integrated voice and data solutions to enterprises, government institutions, domestic telco operators and global wholesale carriers.

In his career at SLT spanning 29 years, he has held a number of senior positions, including general manager Enterprise and International Sales and has extensive experience in the areas of Enterprise Digital Services, Enterprise Communications Solutions, Data Communications, Business Development, Domestic and International Switching Operations and Global Wholesale Voice & Data Business.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Kansas, USA and a BSc degree in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering with a First Class Honours from the University of Moratuwa.

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