Cinnamon Training Academy (CTA) recently laid the foundation stone to establish a modern Bought Tree Cinnamon Processing factory at its premises in Kosgoda, Balapitiya. It will be operational before the end of this year.
When operational, it will benefit the smallholders in the Balapitiya, Baddegama, Batapola, Bentota, Hikkaduwa, Karandeniya and Ambalangoda areas in the Galle district, to obtain a better price for their cinnamon trees and or process them to international standards.
It will create direct employment for 20 jobs and about 100 indirect jobs. It will have a capacity to process about 24,000 cinnamon trees with an output of 1,350 kilos processed cinnamon per month, during the two harvesting seasons.
The foundation stones were laid by Delegation of European Union for Sri Lanka and Maldives Head of Operation Frank Hess, UNIDO International Expert Dr. Jairo Andres Villamil-Diaz, CTA Chairman Sarada M. De Silva, Spice Council Chairman and Director of CTA D. A Perera, and CTA Director Wijitha De Z. Jayatilleke.
CTA Bought Tree Factory for which the foundation was laid on 23 August will enhance the operations and sustainability of CTA. The construction of this factory and equipping of is fully funded by the European Union, designed and implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).
The European Union has been assisting the CTA over last five years to make it sustainable and it has trained over 800 trainees. Also it has assisted in the process of obtaining geographical indications for Ceylon Cinnamon since 2013. The CTA project was initiated and implemented by United Nations Industrial Organisation.
UNIDO, from the inception 2013 to date; provided technical consultants, training of trainers, developing of curriculum’s for training, revision of curriculum’s after three years and a host of other activities. It designed the Bought Tree Cinnamon Training Factory, selected contractors and implemented them. Sarada De Silva praised the UNIDO for all assistance and guidance from inception. The first stage was implemented during Presidency the of Mahinda Rajapaksha and launched by Basil Rajapaksha with WTO-STDF, UNIDO funding for USD.630,000/= (Rs. 100 million), GOSL national budget Rs. 28 million through EDB and private cinnamon industry investor Rs. 6 million, and the land now valued at Rs. 34 million.
The second stage consisting of building a lecture hall auditorium, female and male hostels and a storeroom has been provided in the national budget in 2019 and approved. Due to the vote on account, these funds were not released and we hope that it will be done in the Budget of 2021.
Addressing that distinguished gathering, B. Sarada M. De Silva stated the achievement obtained by establishing the Cinnamon Industry and Cinnamon Training Academy. He thanked the European Union (EU), United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and World Trade Organisation-Standards and Trade Development Fund (WTO-STDF) for fusing and all assistance to CTA.
He also thanked the Government of Sri Lanka, Ministries and agencies for all the assistance given over the years to CTA.