The Government has decided to set up 5000 export oriented villages covering each Divisional Secretariat to mark the third anniversary of the Yahapalana Government from August 15. Social Welfare and Primary Industries Minister Daya Gamage, speaking at an awareness programme for entrepreneurs on the ‘Agriculture Sector Modernisation Project and Value Chain Development Programme' held in Colombo yesterday, said the aim of this endeavour was to boost the agro-processing industries, creating jobs and developing Sri Lanka’s rural economy.
He pointed out that this would assist Sri Lanka to continue increasing its exports and investment in line with the Government targets of doubling exports by 2020. Under this project, entrepreneurs who are capable of increasing agri products exports by introducing new technologies for increasing productivity and quality, would be encouraged by providing finance through a grant scheme provided by the World Bank.
This latest project will promote market access, value addition, improve technology usage and increase linkages between the private sector and farmers. Commenting on the proposed salary hike for MPs, Minister Gamage said that a salary hike for Parliamentarians is needed for carrying out development activities and to look after the needs of the villagers. Otherwise, the MP should have inherited money or the MP could turn to corruption, he added.