Joint business forum facilitates Lanka’s sustainable organic agriculture initiative
Following the pursuit to support Sri Lanka’s policy to move towards sustainable organic agriculture through enhanced private sector engagement, a virtual Business Forum was recently held on the theme of ‘Sourcing agricultural inputs from Germany to strengthen Sri Lanka’s path towards sustainable and organic agriculture.
The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Germany together with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, German Agribusiness Alliance (GAA) and Sri Lanka-Germany Business Council (SLGBC) organized the Forum providing a valuable opportunity to gain deeper insights into the Government’s vision and efforts set forth to achieve sustainable organic agriculture. The joint effort of the Embassy along with the private sector and GAA has proven that international cooperation would ultimately transform rational policy decisions into tangible outcomes. The B2B meetings that followed the Forum enabled Sri Lankan businesses in the agricultural sector to connect with prospective German counterparts and created a conducive environment for companies to establish direct linkages in the presence of the highest level of administration of respective companies.
Kicking off the Forum, Manori Unambuwe, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Germany, highlighted the Government’s efforts towards sustainable organic agriculture as a precursor to ‘repositioning Sri Lanka as a global destination for sustainable living which will bring other connected industries such as tourism, manufacturing, and investments to greater heights in the long run”.
On behalf of the Agri Minister of Sri Lanka, Dr Ajantha De Silva stated that the country has ‘identified many challenges due to lack of technical know-how and short supply of inputs in achieving expected momentum’ and would benefit from international expertise in green agriculture practices.
Dr Ajantha de Silva, Director-General, Department of Agriculture meanwhile elucidated the national standard requirements for organic agricultural inputs providing much-needed information for German companies. Echoing support for the government’s vision of sustainable organic agriculture, CEO of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Manjula de Silva welcomed Government moves to permit the imports of chemical fertilizer, noting that this would ensure the balanced and sustainable development of the country’s agricultural industry.
Chairperson of the GAA Julia Harnal commended the timely organization of the Business Forum, stating that ‘German companies are looking forward to contributing to this path towards a more sustainable organic agricultural production in Sri Lanka – providing innovative solutions to apply for the entire range of sustainable farming practices.
Dr Burkhard Schmied, Head of the Department of Agriculture Production, Horticulture and Cultural Policy, Ministry of Agriculture, Germany, highlighted that there is a real increase in demand for organic food in Germany, the export of organic food from Sri Lanka to Germany provides attractive economic prospects as many of the foods produced in Sri Lanka are also foods that cannot be produced in Germany.
President of the SLGBC Mark Francis welcomed all future initiatives to foster bilateral trade and co-operation between Sri Lanka and Germany.