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Baurs facilitates revisit of Swiss experts

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Baurs MD/CEO Rolf Blaser and Deputy MD/Director Agriculture Janaka Gunasekera along with the expert team at the Ministry of Agriculture

To assist nation’s efforts towards organic agriculture

In its continuous efforts to share scientific and practical solutions in enabling a successful conversion from conventional to organic farming, A. Baur & Co. (Pvt.) Ltd., also known as Baurs, a name synonymous with pioneering the agriculture landscape in the country, recently facilitated a team of organic agri experts from Switzerland who revisited Sri Lanka during early-February.

The team included Prof. Christoph Studer, Professor of Natural Resources Management at the School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences (HAFL), Dr. Jacques G Fuchs, Senior Scientist in Plant Pathology and Soil Quality and Mr. Paul van den Berge, Senior Consultant from the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL).

The revisit marks the second phase of the comprehensive study, followed by an in-depth analysis and evaluation completed in August last year when the team was on a 10-day visit conducting preliminary studies including meeting with diverse stakeholders to understand the agri ecosystem. This time around the purpose was to further study the strategically identified potential areas based on the initial findings.

During their 9-day visit, the experts held discussions with officials from the Ministry of Agriculture to comprehend the Government’s current standing on its green agriculture policy and visited key institutions such as Rice Research & Development Institute (RRDI), Field Crop Research & Development Institute (FCRDI), Farm Mechanization Research Centre (FMRC), University of Peradeniya Faculty of Agriculture Sub Campus in Mahailluppallama as well as Tea Research Institute (TRI) to study their involvement and future initiatives steered towards this direction.

This also included discussions with officials at the Field Crop Research and Development Institute (FCRDI) and academia to explore possibilities of intercropping leguminous crops in between two paddy seasons as a sandwich crop. The experts visited the Municipality Council of Nuwara Eliya to study the waste management process of outstation cities. The Council members led by Mayor, shared the process and experience on waste management of Nuwara Eliya city. They also visited the largest vegetables and fruits wholesale market in Dambulla, a leading local dairy producer, a private poultry farm, and composting site in Chilaw to observe and study the availability of raw materials for organic farming input production.

As part of the collaboration of Baurs with FiBL and HAFL, Jacques Kohli who is a graduate from the Bern University of Applied Sciences is working with Baurs as an intern in carrying out a detailed study on the availability of raw materials for organic fertilizer production and their potential uses.

They also met with officials from the Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC), Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) and a bio fertilizer manufacturer to understand their stand on governments’ direction and seek possible collaborations, including discussions with policy makers such as Sri Lanka Standards Institute (SLSI) and National Plant Quarantine Service.

Further, they also visited Umandawa Global Buddhist Village in Kurunegala and farm fields in Dambulla and Nuwara Eliya and the Idalgashinna organic tea garden to observe and study the agri practices and ecosystem. The experts conducted training sessions to farmers as a continuation of the trainings in their initial visit to better understand and solve issues faced by farmers in organic farming, and also initiated a knowledge sharing session for senior managers and marketing team of Baurs.



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CSE Director Board appoints new chairman

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The Chairman of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) Dumith Fernando who has served in this role since July 01, 2020, has informed the Board of his intention to retire by rotation on June 23, 2022 at the conclusion of his current term as a Director. Subsequently, at its regular monthly board meeting held on May 19th, 2022, the Board of the CSE has elected Director Dilshan Wirasekara to succeed Fernando as Chairman with effect from June 24th, 2022. Wirasekara is currently Director and Chief Executive Officer of First Capital Holdings PLC.According to the Articles of Association of the CSE, it’s Chair is chosen from among the five Directors elected by the members of the CSE. The appointment of Wirasekara is in line with the CSE’s normal board succession practice.

The outgoing Chairman Fernando said that “We are very pleased with the advancement of the CSE in the last 2 years. The market has set records across capital raising, trading volumes and participation alongside significant wealth creation for investors. The CSE is also financially stronger than it has ever been, and I am pleased to hand over my role following the institution’s highest-ever profitability and capital reserves position. Credit for this is due to my fellow board members, management and staff as well as all those stakeholders who collaborated with us including our regulator the Securities & Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka and the stock broking and investor communities.”

Commenting on the appointment of his successor, he further stated “I have had the pleasure of serving as a Director with Dilshan for five years where he has been a critical and energetic member of the board. The board and I have full confidence that he will continue to work with all stakeholders to build on our recent efforts to transform into a modern-day multi-product exchange. I look forward to supporting Dilshan over the next few weeks to ensure a smooth transition.”Wirasekara thanked both the outgoing chairman for his leadership of the CSE over the last 2 years and the CSE Board for the confidence placed in him. He further stated, “I hope to continue the good progress at the CSE and look forward to working with the Board and the CSE team together with the regulator and the industry to advance our ambitious capital market development plans.”

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SLIM Research Bureau embarks on a mission to promote fair trade in Sri Lanka

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As corporates and consumers globally are shifting towards best practices such as sustainability, inclusivity, and most importantly, equality to all, “fairness” has become a significant part of how business and buyer decisions are made.With this in mind, SLIM Research Bureau, the research arm associated with the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM), recently signed an agreement with Fairtrade NAPP at SLIM Home, in aspiration of promoting fair trade and consumption of fairly traded products in the local market of Sri Lanka.Through this collaboration, SLIM Research Bureau and Fairtrade intends to launch a project – named “SRI-PROM” funded by AICS, the Italian Agency for Development Co-operation, and supported by Fairtrade Italy – that aims to contribute to the social and economic strengthening of rural areas in Sri Lanka, through the development of much more profitable eco-sustainable supply chains for small farmers.

Commenting on the partnership, SLIM President Mr. Nuwan Gamage stated: “SLIM is thrilled to enter into this milestone partnership with Fairtrade NAPP to instil globally accepted best practices within the corporate circle that help achieve fair, equitable trade relationships. The project will be the first step in inviting businesses across industries to become a trailblazer that sets an example both in Sri Lanka and around the world. We look forward to expand these efforts further in the days to come.”The modern concept of fair trade refers to the ethical and sustainable sourcing of products, where workers and farmers at the foundational level of supply and value chains are treated fairly. This, in turn, offers consumers a powerful opportunity to reduce poverty through their purchases.

Fairtrade International Programme Consultant for Sri Lanka, Standards Committee Chair, and Oversight Committee Asia-Pacific Representative Mrs. Iresha Sanjeewanie noted: “Fairtrade takes a 360-degree approach to address a number of different issues and developmental challenges faced by small-scale producers and workers. Though Fairtrade Standards are a glum eye-opener into the implications of unfair trade, in a broader sense, it advocates reform-oriented research and pushes to raise the bar in trade.”

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Bank of Ceylon sponsors Annual Sand Paving Ceremony at Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Temple Anuradhapura

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Invoking the blessings of the sacred “Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi” situated in the historic city of Anuradhapura, on the country and on all its citizens, for peace, harmony and prosperity, the Bank of Ceylon conducted its annual ceremony of strewing fresh sand which is known as “weli Athirime Pinkama” in “Uda Maluwa” recently.

The ceremony took place with the participation of the Bank’s General Manager K.E.D. Sumanasiri, DGM Corporate and Offshore Banking Priyal Silva, DGM Human Resource Dhamma Wijeyawardhene, DGM Branch operations and Development Banking Nilantha Meneripitiyage, AGM North Central Province Mahinda Bandara, AGM Marketing Aruna Hettiarachchi, AGM North Western Mrs.Ruchindra Perera and other staff members. The event was organized by the Bank’s Assistant General Manager North Central Province (NCP) G.K.G. Mahinda Bandara and staff members of the NCP province with the guidance of the Atamasthanadipathi of Anuradhapura, the Most Venerable Dr. Pallegama Siriniwasa Thero.

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