The Hon. Minister distributed set of equipment worth of Rs. 18 Million and similarly special ovens with the capability of producing 2000 Kg of smoked fish from each oven per day, specially manufactured based on the research of NARA institutions were among distributions took place at the function.
The chairman Mr. Anil Premarathna together with the officials participated in the event.
The Hon. Minister expressing his views said,” The NARA institution is the research arm of our Ministry and which was mandated so far to carry out researches .But it has taken steps to focus on contributions towards developments, trainings and technical co operations”.
The fisheries sector of Sri Lanka was able to achieve significant milestones last year. We are aware that the prices of the commodities kept fluctuating regularly but we were able to maintain a stable price structure for fish during the entire period of three years. The reason behind is that the balance maintained between fishery products and imports. Similarly the fishery trade accounted for 44 % of foreign exchange income, out of total exports earnings of the country in 2017. We have earned revenue to the tune of Rs.15 Billion through exports of sea foods. The per capita consumption of fish stood approximately at 40 Grams in year 2015 has increased up to 50 Grams in year 2017. The rise of non communicable diseases has accelerated the consumption of sea food globally while researches have proved that fish is the best source which fulfills our animal protein requirement.”
However, only few varieties of fish are consumed by us while some issues are associated with our methods of cooking. But our sea is enriched with verities of quality fish and abundance of sea weeds and oysters. Hence it is a necessity to inculcate a novel food culture among our populace by promoting consumption of food made out of these verities.
It is my firm belief that the NARA institution which is enriched with a staff of wealth of knowledge and experienced scientists and intellectuals will take initiative in this regard in future towards the development of the nation.