Northern Province Trade and Tourism Festival concludes in Colombo

Friday, 6 June 2014 00:59 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Nucleus Foundation in partnership with the Good Market and with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) successfully organised a Northern Province Trade and Tourism Festival in Colombo at the Diyatha Uyana in Battaramulla on 29 May, and at the Race Course Nuga tree car park on 31 May. Visitors from Colombo were treated to a wide array of food, leather, handloom and Palmyra products as well as northern cultural performances. Over 200 entrepreneurs from Jaffna, Mannar, Vavuniya, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu participated at the event. Products on sale included food items such as organic papaya from Vavuniya, dry fish from Mannar, confectioneries from Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi, fruit drinks from Jaffna and Palmyra items from across the north. A woman entrepreneur from Pudukuduirippu introduced an innovative product – papadam – made out of vegetable extracts, a special draw for the discerning clientele in the city. Her papadams were so popular that she had to have more sent from her village for the second day of the fair. Not only did the event provide the shoppers in Colombo an opportunity to sample the wares from the North but they were able to truly experience the north through cultural performances. Traditional northern dancing was merged with the modern as dancers from Mannar, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu provided a colourful interlude to the shopping. Hoteliers from the north also participated with colourful tourism displays and information and delicious northern food samples. Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa visited the fair accompanied by Ministers for Trade and Commerce and Traditional Industries & Small Enterprise Development. Stallholders were encouraged by their presence and described their products to the special guests. USAID Sri Lanka Director of the Office of Economic Growth Paul Richardson speaking at the event said: “The United States - a development partner in Sri Lanka since 1956 – is proud to support such initiatives that contribute towards long-term economic growth. Over the past five decades, USAID together with the Government of Sri Lanka, the private sector, civil society organisations and the people of Sri Lanka, has been creating jobs, developing local enterprises, providing technological know-how and business skills and giving all Sri Lankans an equitable stake in the island’s economic growth.” The event was organised by The Nucleus Foundation (NF), under a USAID supported program that supports microenterprises in the Northern Province.