Financial Times

Plenty Foods to train IDPs in corn growing

Plenty Foods (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of the Ceylon Biscuits Group, manufacturers of Samaposha -- the breakfast cereal, is to train the re-settled IDP farmers in Vavuniya, in corn growing and subsequently Soya and Green-gram on a buy back agreement.

Picture shows representatives from Plenty Foods (Pvt) Ltd in conversation with IDP farmers in Vavuniya

These products will be processed for the manufacture of Samaposha which is acknowledged to have a very high nutritional value and considered by the health authorities to adequately support children who are suffering from wasting and stunting. The company said the Government has allotted 10 acres of land to set up a Model Farm in Chettikulum under the concept “One village – One Product” to carry out training programmes on cultivation of crops and for post harvest storage. The company would provide seeds and farming equipment to streamline production and ensure a high quality of produce. The company embarked firstly, on the cultivation of corn in around 250 acres of land.

The next stage would be to extend cultivation of Soya and Green Gram into other areas, the statement said. The ambitious Rs. 10 million agricultural programme In Vavuniya will be organised on the same lines as the dry zone projects.

The company envisages to work along with a bank to grant cultivation loans to farmers so that seed, fertilizer and chemicals could be provided under the Forward Sales Contract scheme initiated by the Central Bank. In addition, Plenty Foods will construct a Corn Processing Centre and a warehouse complex.

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