India has suggested setting up an ‘Organic Centre of Excellence’ in Sri Lanka with Indian assistance

India has offered to collaborate with Sri Lanka in its transition towards organic agriculture. It has also suggested research collaboration in this field.

“India would be happy to collaborate with Sri Lanka in its transition towards organic agriculture by providing capacity building training, sharing technical know-how, and organizing exchange visits of experts and through research collaboration among institutions involved in organic farming,” High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay said on Thursday.

He was delivering the keynote address at an online bilateral interaction that was joined by two Sri Lankan ministers.

The event was organised by the High Commission of India on the request of the Government of Sri Lanka in which India’s success stories in organic agriculture was shared.

The Indian High Commissioner also called for utilizing the vast Indian experience in this area for achieving food security for the people of Sri Lanka and suggested setting up an ‘Organic Centre of Excellence’ in Sri Lanka with Indian assistance.

According to a press release issued by the Indian High Commission, Baglay asked biofertilizer companies of both sides to explore prospects of forming Joint Ventures for manufacturing of biofertilizers in Sri Lanka.

Other speakers included State Minister for Skill Development, Vocational Education, Research and Innovation Seetha Arambepola, and Minister of State for Agriculture Shasheendra Rajapaksa.

Arambepola called for greater interaction and collaboration from both sides in various aspects of organic agriculture.

Highlighting the need of the Government of Sri Lanka to switch over to 100 percent Organic agriculture, Minister Shasheendra Rajapaksa expressed hope that India’s capabilities and expertise in the field would be beneficial to Sri Lanka.

Appreciating the lead role taken by the High Commission in organizing such an interaction, the Ministers requested the High Commission to organize more such interactions in the future.

CEO of Sikkim Organic Farming Development Agency S. Anbalagan shared strategies employed by Sikkim towards its successful transformation as the first State in the world to adopt 100 per cent organic agriculture in 2016.

Principal Scientist, ICAR-Indian Agriculture Research Institute Shiva Dhar shared valuable insights on plants nutrient management for organic farming.

Commercial interaction during the session comprised representation from Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), and bio-fertilizer manufacturing firms from both countries.

Head of Technical Cooperation Sushil Kumar highlighted that agriculture was a vital component of India-Sri Lanka multi-dimensional bilateral partnership. He agreed to facilitate more such interactions in specific areas such as bio-herbicides, bio-pesticides, compost enrichment technology and explore the possibility of strengthening institutional collaborations between the two countries in agriculture and allied fields.