February 23, 2019

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    KOICA to provide USD 6 mn for Plant Quarantine Service

    January 22, 2019

    ‘KOICA’ (Korea International Cooperation Agency) the grant aid division of the Korean Embassy, legally based on the framework agreement on grant aid between the two countries, is providing a grant worth USD 6 million to enhance the export competitiveness of Sri Lankan agricultural products by improving Plant Quarantine capacity.

    The agreement between the two countries for the project was signed by LEE, Dong Ku; Country Director of KOICA Sri Lanka Office, K.D.S. Ruwanchandra; Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Economic Affairs, Livestock Development, Irrigation and Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development and PriyanthaRathnayake; Director General of the Department of External Resources on January 17, 2019 at Ministry of Agriculture.

    Dr. Keerthi Hettiarachchi, Additional Secretary for Agriculture Technology while delivering the welcome speech, explained the current need in uplifting the export of agricultural products to boost the GDP of Sri Lanka. LEE, Country Director of KOICA Sri Lanka Office during his speech at the signing ceremony remarked that, as export of agricultural products plays a significant role in the gross export income to Sri Lanka, KOICA has decided to strengthen the agricultural sector by providing this grant.

    The main outputs of this project will be strengthening the Plant Quarantine capacity, supporting value chain development for agricultural export and expansion of Sri Lanka Good Agricultural Practice (SL-GAP), establishment of Plant Quarantine Information Management System.

    Among the sectors in the economy agriculture sector plays a key role and it continues to be the main pillar of Sri Lankan economy since a majority of the population living in rural and plantation areas is engaged in agriculture for their livelihood.

    The sector provides employments for nearly 25 percent of the workforce and forms the resource base for a number of agro-based industries and agro-services and stimulates the economic growth through vertical and horizontal integration with other sectors in the economy.

    In Sri Lanka, agricultural exports hold a significant portion of total exports and in future it is expected that agricultural exports will play an important role in economic development in Sri Lanka. Hence the Sri Lankan government has recently been promoting the export of non-traditional items such as fruits and vegetables than traditional agricultural products such as tea and coconut.

    However, in order to expand exports of agricultural products, quarantine systems must comply with the importing countries quarantine conditions.

    Therefore, in order to export fruits and vegetables, it is necessary to establish a high-level advanced quarantine system required by the export target country. As a step forward, KOICA has decided to join hands in strengthening and modernizing the Plant Quarantine Service in Sri Lanka.

     

     

     

     

     

     

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