Supporting Entrepreneurship and Innovation for Social Change

The Agribusiness Development Forum: Exploring Market Opportunities

Lanka Social Ventures organised a very successful half day event “The Agribusiness Development Forum: Exploring Market Opportunities” on 10th June 2019 at the Movenpick Hotel, Colombo. This event fell under the The Sustaining and Nurturing Rural Agro-Industrial Social Enterprises (SUNRISE) project programmes. SUNRISE ) project was established to develop the Fruit and Fruit & Vegetable processors (Northern Province) and Handloom producers (Eastern province). In the Northern Province, the project was implemented in Vavuniya, Cheddikulam, Omanthai, Puliyankulam, Oddusudan and Nedunkerni. SUNRISE is funded by Oxfam and Lanka Social Ventures is the implementing partner for the 2017-2019 project period. The SUNRISE project supports 20 small and medium-sized agribusinesses to develop their knowledge, skills and capacities to meet competitive market standards. As a result of project interventions, participating farmers have been able to develop their business skills, entrepreneurial acumen, and also improve the quality of their production processes and final products. Some SUNRISE farmers have also received GAP and GMP certification and others are currently in the process of applying for GAP certification. The objective of the Agribusiness Development Forum was to understand the current and future market trends, explore the market demand (both local and international) and opportunities for SUNRISE supported farmers. It was well attended by heads and representatives of different governmental and non-governmental organisations and some of the presentations done were very well received by the audience.

Here’s a list of the main presentation topics:

  • Mr. Gnanaganeshan Chellappa, Economic and Justice Manager, Oxfam, Sri Lanka presented Oxfam Sri Lanka and objectives of Forum from Oxfam’s perspective

  • Mrs. Kemasooroby Vasenth, National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka presented Exports of Fruits and Vegetables in Sri Lanka with a focus on present markets, global trends and mechanisms to meet the demand

  • Ms. Charindi Ranasinghe, Board Member, LFVPPEA presented Exploring Market Opportunities Highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of Sri Lanka current position in the international market.

  • Mr. Janaka Gammanpila, Silver Mills Group presented processing of Fruits and Vegetables – The Demand and Supply, highlighted the Silvermills experience and successes, the key demands of exporters, challenges and opportunities for Sri Lanka

  • Mr. Kavinda Dissanayake, Director, Lanka Agri Produce Management presented developing and Managing Value Chain Networks, highlighting the different players in the network and how to create the conditions to ensure that all players in the network are benefitted
  • Dr. Neville Amunugoda, Industrial Technology Institute presented post harvest technology for handling fruits and vegetables, focused on the different methods of processing fruits and vegetables post harvest to ensure minimal wastage and spoilage of these perishable items
  • Dr. Yasantha Mapatuna, Director, SAPP was invited to give her thoughts of what was presented as well as to present her experience with developing partnerships in order to improve their quality of product, sales and their well-being

  • Agribusiness