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
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.
Coconut yield forecast for 2017 (up to August) and Annual National Coconut production in 2016
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
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.
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
Sunday, March 27, 2016
Original Article: Link
By Sandun Jayawardana
‘The drought is killing the tea industry’
Drying up tea plantation
The prevailing drought has had a severe adverse impact on producers of both low-grown and high-grown tea, with many struggling to cope due to a sharp drop in production.
“There has been no rain in this area for 48 days. As a result, our produce for March is down by 75 per cent compared to last year,” said Nilantha Weerasinghe, Factory Manager of Broadlands Tea Factory at Kalugala in the Nuwara Eliya district.
The area had received rain on just five days in the previous two months – two days in January and three in February. “The situation for tea producers here is precarious,” Mr. Weerasinghe observed grimly.
Original Article: Link
by Camelia Nathaniel
Having gone through many hardships during the previous regime the farmers were hopeful of a better future when they supported President Maithripala Sirisena, whom they identified as a leader hailing from the farming community. However farmers today are disgruntled with the lack of commitment to their issues by the government and charge that they have been let down by the government.
In protest of the step motherly treatment they are being dished out by the current government, the farmers are planning a series of protests and according to the JVP affiliated All Ceylon Farmers’ Federation, the farmers are planning to march to Colombo in their traditional farming attire – the loin cloth – next week if their grievances are not addressed.