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SLIM Sri Lanka unveils Agribusiness Entrepreneurship program



by Sanath Nanayakkare

SLIM Sri Lanka has taken a new initiative towards its commitment to restart SrI Lanka’s economy by uplifting skills in the agribusiness sector.

With this objective in mind, SLIM recently unveiled their new Certificate in Agribusiness Management and Entrepreneurship (CABE) which generates a number of learning outcomes, and entrepreneurial opportunities for the certificate holders.

The talent pool emerging from the program is expected to help boost agriculture’s contribution to the gross domestic product of the economy.

The course is designed to provide insights on market strategy, technical/practical skills and financial assistance available in the market for agripreneurs.

The collaborators for the course of study are: Sri Lanka Agripreneurs Forum, SAPP, FSLGA, The Ceylon Chamber Academy, SAPP, EDB, SLT Mobitel, Keells, Samaposha, and Onesh Agri.

The learning outcomes of the course are:

*Acquisition of entrepreneurial skills essential for starting and managing a successful, sustainable agribusiness ventures

* Gaining marketing, accounting, supply chain management and finance skills to make sound business decisions

* Understanding marketing as a philosophy, a business function, evolution and its key compositions

* Applying the correct approaches to market segmentation, targeting and positioning in developing marketing strategies

To impart the knowledge on these areas, the course consists of 11 modules including Smart Agriculture and building an entrepreneurial business plan.

The course will have a blended learning approach with a combination of field training and online sessions

The content and presentations will be made in all three languages. The course fee is Rs. 35,000

This process driven course of study at grassroots level could help collaborative partners to identify and pick the right talent for their own organizations.

Further, the certificate holders with right talent will likely have local and overseas market opportunities with the EDB, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce – Academy and other collaborative partners.

Suresh de Mel, Export Development Board Chairman, the chief guest of the event, assured EDB’s fullest support to SLIM and other collaborative partners to make the course a fruitful one for the agribusiness sector in Sri Lanka and for potential agripreneurs in terms of creating marketing opportunities for them.

SLIM President Roshan Fernando said, “This course of study will provide the participants with a rich and rewarding experience in agri-sector marketing. This is the promise we give for transformation of our value added agriculture produces to be effectively marketed in Sri Lanka and overseas. SLIM will be building a competent pool of agri-business marketers as an outcome of this program.

“I urge the agr-business leaders gathered here to pick the right talent from the pool when it’s ready, to nurture them and if possible help take them to graduation level, because in the future your organizations will benefit from their meaningful contribution”.



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Six nabbed with over 100 kg of ‘Ice’



By Norman Palihawadane and Ifham Nizam

The Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) yesterday arrested six suspects in the Sapugaskanda Rathgahawatta area with more than 100 kilos of Crystal Methamphetamine also known as Ice.

Police Media Spokesman, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Ajith Rohana told the media that the PNB sleuths, acting on information elicited from a suspect in custody had found 91 packets of Ice.

A man in possession of 100 kilos of heroin was arrested in Modera during the weekend and revealed that a haul of Ice had been packed in plastic boxes.

The PNB seized more than 114 kilos of Ice from the possession of a single drug network.

According to the information elicited from the suspects, more than 100 kilos of Ice were found.

The PNB also arrested six persons including two women with 13 kilos of Ice, during an operation carried out in the Niwandama area in Ja-Ela on Sunday.

DIG Rohana said the ice had been packed in small plastic boxes and hidden in two school bags.

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PM intervenes to iron out differences among coalition partners



By Norman Palihawadane

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that he was confident that differences among the constituents of the SLPP coalition as regards the May Day celebrations and the next Provincial Council elections could be ironed out soon.

Leaders of all SLPP allied parties have been invited to a special meeting to be held at Temple Trees with the PM presiding on April 19.

Prime Minister Rajapaksa said it was natural for members of a political alliance to have their own standpoints and views on matters of national importance. “This is due to the different political ideologies and identities. It is not something new when it comes to political alliances world over. In a way, it shows that there is internal democracy within our alliance.

The PM said: “As a result of that the allied parties may express their own views on issues, but that does not mean there is a threat to the unity of the alliance. An alliance is more vibrant and stronger not when all the parties think on the same lines but when the member parties have different ideologies.”

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Thilo Hoffman remembered



A copy of the book “Politics of a Rainforest: Battles to save Sinharaja” was handed over to Dominik Furgler, the Swiss Ambassador in Sri Lanka by the author of the book, Dr. Prasanna Cooray at the Swiss Embassy in Colombo last Tuesday, to be sent to the family of the late Thilo Hoffman in Switzerland.

Hoffman, a Swiss national, who made Sri Lanka his second home for six decades, was a pioneering environmental activist who led the battles to save Sinharaja from the front in the early 1970s, abreast with the likes of Iranganie Serasinghe, Kamanie Vitharana, Lynn De Alwis and Nihal Fernando of the “Ruk Rekaganno” fame. That was the era when the trees of Sinharaja were felled for the production of plywood by the then government. Hoffman was also a livewire of the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) for a long time. Hoffman died in 2014 at the age of 92.

The book includes a chapter on Thilo Hoffman.

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