World’s first Climate Change Research Station in Sri Lanka

By Raj Moorthy

Dilmah, the only Sri Lankan tea brand that has established a presence in 100 countries, is setting up the world’s first Climate Research Station at Queensberry Estate in Nawalapitiya.

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New climate change research station

This was revealed by Dilmah Tea CEO and Director Dilhan Fernando during a forum organised by the Sunday Times Business Club (STBC) titled ‘Sri Lanka Inc: Challenges and Opportunities’ held at the Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo on Monday. (More details of the STBC event will appear next week). Continue reading

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PM’s office announces an on-line management Information System for paddy/rice

Original article

1723976083DI-P04-28-09-(Re)-kwk-1File Photo of farmers planting paddy in waterlogged fields. It has been decided to have an on-line Database System for Paddy/Rice stocks which could then be accessed easily by any official/or member of the public at any time, according to the Prime Minister’s office.

A statement issued by it said: Every year, the government makes an effort to stabilize the price of paddy/rice. But owing to non-availability of comprehensive information success is limited. Establishing a computerized digital MIS system for Paddy/Rice Sector will strengthen that effort and decision makers, relying on this Management Information System (MIS), will be able to take informed decisions as to the quantity of Paddy and Rice available in the country and the actual need to supplement by way of imports. The project will be implemented under the cooperation of several government and private institutes, led by the National Planning Department, with the guidance of the Central Programme Management Unit of the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs of which the Prime Minister is Minister. Continue reading

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New Radical Vision for Sustainable,Innovative Agriculture

30-7-2017 FT (19)

By Rizvi Zaheed

Human civilization is rapidly approaching an unprecedented threshold beyond which lies an exciting yet highly uncertain and volatile age. Many of the assumptions that have formed the basis of complex industrial societies are themselves falling under increased scrutiny. At almost every level, societies are being compelled towards introspection and a careful re-examination of the foundations upon which society rests. Across the globe, individuals, companies, communities and entire nations are seeking out new, more sustainable and more effective methods of building, powering and maintaining, their homes, offices, and cities. Continue reading

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CRI predicts 500 m coconut yield shortage for 2017

Given the challenges faced by the industry with repeated droughts, increased demand for domestic consumption and the felling of coconut trees, the Coconut Research Institute (CRI) forecasts a 450-500 million nut shortfall this year.
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Coconut yield forecast for 2017 (up to August) and Annual National Coconut production in 2016

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Govt. mulls liberalisation of coconut industry to boost exports

By Charumini de Silva

Original article

  • Plantation Industries Minister to obtain Cabinet approval to import fresh kernels for value addition exports 
  • CDA to get promotion agency, possible plans for overseas campaignsIN-216
As a step towards reviving coconut-based value addition and exports, the Government is considering liberalising restrictions on coconut imports, Plantation Industries Minister Navin Dissanayake said.

“I have taken a bold decision to relax the restriction on the importation of coconuts into Sri Lanka. This is to enable DC (desiccated coconut) millers to import coconut as husked nuts or as fresh kernel. This is only for value addition and export,” Plantation Industries Minister Navin Dissanayake said at the Sri Lanka Desiccated Coconut Millers Association Annual General Meeting (AGM) recently.
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‘Growth prospects bleak for Sri Lanka’s tea industry’

Adverse weather conditions, combined with rising costs and greater competition, threaten to weaken Sri Lanka’s position in the global tea industry, though efforts to develop new markets could help offset downturns in exports and revenue.Flooding in mid-May struck a number of tea-producing regions and led to the inundation of several tea export facilities around Colombo, causing widespread disruption and compounding losses from El Niño-related drought conditions in the first half of this year.

According to a research note issued by Colombo-based broker John Keells in mid-August, output from Sri Lanka’s plantations remains low, at a time when production by key competitors is rising.”Most black tea-producing countries have recorded substantial gains,” the report noted. “However, crop harvest from the Sri Lankan perspective is yet to show any significant improvement and continues well below last year’s levels.”

As of the end of the first half of the year, Sri Lankan production totalled 153m kg, down 11% y-o-y. By comparison, Indian production increased by 22.3% y-o-y to 230m kg, while Kenyan growers posted even stronger results, with harvests up 42.3% to 249m kg.Tea exports from January to June were down 3.4% y-o-y to 146.5m kg, according to figures from the Tea Exporters Association, with declines seen in both packets and bags. Continue reading

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Global role of Sri Lankan rice to feed the world

Original Article : Link

By Dr. Prasad Senadheera – International Rice Research Institute, Open University of Sri Lanka

Why was ancient Sri Lanka called the granary of the East despite the presence of many other rice growing countries which were much larger than ours in the region?  History reveals that Sri Lanka maintained a far-sighted philosophy, technology and culture associated with rice production and its impact was felt well beyond the shores of this island. Rice cultivation was the basis of the economy and wellbeing of the nation. Food security was the key pre-requisite of the national security. The famous saying of King Parakumba, the Great, that ‘not a drop of water that falls on the land be allowed to flow into sea without being used by humankind’ depicts this strong philosophy.

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Marvelous ancient irrigation infrastructure and social model consist of village-temple-tank –dagaba depicts the technology and culture associated with rice. Vast varietal diversity of rice with underlying enormous genetic diversity, which is un-proportionate to the size of our small land, further qualifies it to hold the title of the granary of the East. Recent findings of the existence of modern man (Homo sapiens L.) around 100,000 BC in Sri Lanka may even lead to re-write the history of rice domestication. The oldest record of rice domestication was so far traced back to 12000 BC in China. Unfortunately, the colonial leaders in the past paid scant attention to growing rice and diverted state patronage to cash crops. Continue reading

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