- Small farmers and food processing companies can apply for financial assistance till 11 July
By Charumini de Silva
The Export Development Board (EDB) has stepped up its support for organic exports, initiating a funding scheme for growers and processors.
EDB, the apex body for exports in the country, has extended financial assistance for growers and processors to obtain organic certification as per the Sri Lanka standard for organic agriculture products and processing SLS 1324:2018.
Sri Lankan growers and processors willing to following organic agriculture and processing practices in rice, fruits, vegetables, cashew, herbs, pulses, spices, coconut kernel based products and green leaves are eligible to apply for assistance.
EDB will provide financial assistance for the growers or processors over the cost of organic inspection and certification and lab testing related to organic certification as per SLS 1324:2018.
The objective of the program include; promotion of the National Organic Standard (SLS 1324:2018) among the small farmers, streamline production, handling, processing and labelling of organically grown agriculture products to meet a consistent standard, encourage conventional farmers transform into organic cultivation and increase the production volumes and income, establish transparency throughout the supply/value chains from farm to market, upgrade the farmers to obtain international certification in future to meet the export demand and to obtain the mutual recognition with organic standards in export destination.
The prospective growers must have minimum one-acre cultivatable land (own land or lease land for more than five years), minimum one year experience in cultivating the particular crop/crops, business registration or registration as a producers/farmer organisations with relevant Government authorities and not possess an organic certificate at present.
With regards to the processors, companies having own processing plants with minimum GMP certification, minimum one year experience in processing the particular product/products, business registration, do not possess organic certificate at present.
Deadline for applications for support is 11 July.