SRI LANKA: 'Thuru Saviya' to establish rubber processing centres

The move is  expected bring in a number of benefits to the smallholders sector,  including the assurance of a better price, increase in sale and enhanced  product quality.

'Thuru Saviya' Fund chairman Suranga Hidellarachchi said the  smallholders sector will benefit from the above move both due to the  improvement in sophistication in rubber processing and direct trading.

"The centre will enable the production of better quality sheets, which  then can be sold to the middle- and upper-level network of traders  directly" he added.

Hidellarachchi said the smallholders will be able to  fetch a higher price also because direct trade will sideline the  middlemen. The centres will provide on the spot bidding facilities for  buyers.

Work on four such centres has already begun, namely, in  Randeniya (Kegalle District), Karawita (Ratnapura District), Yattapatha  and Hedigalla (Kalutara District).

The four centres are expected to begin operations from September 2012.  They will include modern smoke houses and stores built using the latest  technical know how. The Economic Development Ministry has provided funds  amounting to Rs.90 million to implement the programme.

Hidellarachchi said more centres will be established next year  creating a network of smallholders.

Source: "Daily News", Colombo; 30 Aug 2012

(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)