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TAMAP drives Stakeholder Forum for Good Agriculture Practice

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Secretary of Agriculture Prof. Udith K Jayasinghe addressing the forum

The inaugural meeting of the GAP Stakeholder Forum was held with the support of the Technical Assistance to the Modernisation of Agriculture Programme (TAMAP) at the Department of Agriculture in Peradeniya on 17 November 2021. Prof. Udith K Jayasinghe, Secretary Ministry of Agriculture, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest.

The Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) programme, introduced by the Department of Agriculture in 2016, was a promising step taken to minimise adverse impacts of agriculture on the ecosystem and human health while meeting steadily rising demand for food. Although the programme had an encouraging start, the overall conversion of farmers to implementing GAP remained low. Over the past six years, 1500 farmers registered as GAP producers out of the 1.8 million farmers in Sri Lanka. To align with the current policy of the Sri Lankan Government to improve ecological friendliness of farming, it is important to transform all production units towards GAP farms.

Studies showed that to achieve this goal, the GAP implementation strategies needed to be updated and infused into the mainstream agriculture, facilitating a quick transformation of the current approach towards a macro-level system. Therefore, the requirement for a rapid strategizing of such an approach followed by periodic review of GAP performance arose. This initiated the need for a stakeholder forum.

The key purpose of the forum is to provide a common platform for key stakeholders to meet in formulating a strategy to mainstream SL GAP, propose a way forward for implementation such recommendations, and to regularly review program performance and adopt remedial action to achieve GAP objectives.

Prof. Udith K Jayasinghe, Secretary Ministry of Agriculture who chaired the Forum in his opening statement commented, “GAP programme has emerged a solution to challenges faced by Sri Lankan agriculture today to improve safety of users and ensuring good environmental performance. Reinforced by facilitating legislation and approved national standards, GAP programme provides a strong foundation towards addressing above concerns.”.

Over forty participants were present at the forum, representing the various stakeholder groups comprising producers, distributers, SL GAP team, academics, and market players. Ms D. S. Ratnasinghe, Addl. Director (Agribusiness) and Dr W. M. W. Weerakoon, National Coordinator outlined the status of the GAP programme and the challenges faced.

The deliberations during the forum were broken down into five main areas: Technical, financial, institutional, and social problems faced by GAP stakeholders on maintaining production, supply, product quality, and consumer trust. Gaps in technology transfer and adoption, marketing and quality control measures and means for increased rate of adoption and GAP farm certification; Gaps in current GAP process and procedures, user friendliness and applicability; Future technological needs towards increasing production, productivity, product quality and ecosystem sustainability; and Policy needs for increased adoption of GAP to mainstream GAP into national agriculture agenda.

Prof. G. Pushpakumara, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya and Ms Jayantha Ilankoon, ADG (Dev) moderated the forum through group activity, outcome presentations and strategic discussions on the way forward.

Concluding the forum, Dr Nihal Atapattu, stated, “TAMAP, along with the European Union that provided the funding support is very pleased to have assisted to launch several interventions that would promote recognition of GAP as a premier means of strengthening Sri Lankan agriculture in sustainably meet requirements of the domestic and export markets. TAMAP expects that the Stakeholder Forum launched today will be a milestone event in advancing GAP to achieve its potential in Sri Lanka”.



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Cavinkare Lanka unveils Meera Facewash – unique combination of natural actives

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FMCG Major’s latest product for the Sri Lankan market, Meera Facewash was unveiled in an official event at Colombo. Celebrating the young contemporary Sri Lankan woman, Meera facewash will be introduced in three different variants providing functional solutions to everyday skincare problems – Red Sandal (for soft skin), Neem & Tea Tree (for pimple clear skin) and Wild Turmeric (for clear skin).

Meera facewash is a range of formulation that is Soap-free, Sulphate free, Paraben free and is milder on the skin. It has a unique combination of Natural actives mentioned in ancient Ayurvedic textbooks. It includes a very special product which is Salicyclic acid- free acne treatment facewash. It helps to remove 99.9% of acne causing bacteria using prebiotic technology.

Meera facewash is aimed at modern young women of Sri Lanka who hold a strong belief in traditional practices & natural ingredients. Today young women are well read, understand the importance of healthy skin and have a holistic view of how healthy skin is beautiful skin. It comes out from the confidence of understanding scientific literature that supports these natural ingredients rather than following it naively.

Virtually connecting at the event, Arun Chacko, Business Head of Personal care category (Sri Lanka, Bangladesh & Nepal) said, “With the Launch of Meera Face Wash today, we add to the hugely successful Meera portfolio of shampoos. With this, we intend to enhance the Richness of Tradition that Meera as a brand has been offering to the Sri Lankan Populace over the years. We are sure that the variants, would endear to the needs of Sri Lanka. We promise to bring more such exciting products to cater to the consumers.”

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All-time record prices for two estates

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Halpewatte Uva Estate located in Bandarawela, which is renowned for producing high quality, light liquoring bright orthodox teas established an all-time record price of Rs.1,000 per kg on a liquoring BOPSP grade in the Uva Medium Category at the tea auction held on 18th January 2022. This invoice of tea was purchased by Shan Teas (Pvt) Ltd.Halpewatte Uva Estate is managed by Halpewatte Estate (Pvt) Ltd, and the teas were marketed and sold by John Keells PLC.

Venture Estate located in Bogawantalawa which is renowned for producing high quality orthodox teas over the past years, established an all-time record price, of Rs 1,060 per kg on a liquoring FBOPF1 grade in the Western High Grown Category at this week’s tea auction held on 18th January 2022. This line of tea was purchased by Inter Tea (Pvt) Ltd. Venture Estate is managed by Madulsima Plantations PLC and the teas were marketed and sold by John Keells PLC.

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HNB-Indra Traders offer exclusive leasing solutions for unregistered vehicles, freezers and pre-owned vehicles

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Sri Lanka’s leading private sector bank, HNB PLC, partnered with local automotive giant Indra Traders to provide customers with exclusive leasing solutions for unregistered and pre-owned vehicles and freezers.

Customers can make use of exciting benefits and discounts during the promotional period from January to December 2022. HNB Executive Director Chief Operating Officer Dilshan Rodrigo and Indra Traders Managing Director Rushanka Silva participated in the special ceremony to sign the MoU at HNB Towers.

“Given the import restrictions, the market for unregistered and pre-owned vehicles has grown exponentially. Each year we offer our loyal customers the very best deals in the market. As such, we have renewed our partnership with Indra traders, renowned for its incomparable service, to offer those looking for vehicles with access to exceptional after-sales services and great discounts,” HNB Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Dilshan Rodrigo said.

HNB will offer the prevailing interest rate for structured leases and lease facilities with a 25% residual value market value under the partnership. Customers also have access to special discounts on automobile products, servicing, spare parts, tyres, and batteries via the Prestige Prime card, with the annual fee waived off the first year.

“We are delighted to partner with HNB once again to offer our mutual customer base exciting leasing solutions and great benefits. Our continued partnership with the Bank has proven to be very beneficial to our customers, and we hope they will make use of this opportunity once again to invest in their own set of wheels,” Indra Traders Managing Director Rushanka Silva said.

Indra Traders will provide customers looking to purchase unregistered cars, vans and freezers with free insurance from SLIC for the first year. HNB customers are also eligible for discounts of up to 10% for spare parts from Indra Motor Spares and labour charges from Indra Service Park for the first year.

Customers investing in a new or unregistered passenger vehicles are eligible to have their vehicles outfitted with a free entertainment system and reverse camera. Indra Traders will also offer customers a two-year warranty for engines and gearboxes and a three-year warranty for hybrid batteries.

Notably, the company will provide free labour for services up to one year and a maximum of six services for pre-owned vehicles. A six-month warranty will also be offered for the engines and gearboxes of these vehicles.

Established in 1975, Indra Traders has diversified to various business segments in the automobile industry. A supplier of high-quality motor vehicles and related vehicles, Indra Traders today stands as not only a supplier of high-quality vehicles but also a transport solutions provider.

With 254 customer centres across the country, HNB is one of Sri Lanka’s largest, most technologically-innovative banks, having won local and global recognition for its efforts to drive forward a new paradigm in digital banking. HNB has a national rating of AA- (lka) by Fitch Ratings (Lanka) Ltd. The Bank was also ranked among the World Top 1,000 Banks list compiled by the prestigious UK-based Banker Magazine for five consecutive years. HNB was also declared Best Sub-Custodian Bank in Sri Lanka at the Global Finance Awards 2020.

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