Published on: May 7, 2024

Sri Lanka CVF and Nativa Capital ink MOU to Enhance Sustainable, Community Scale Farming and Forest Protection

  • US $100 million project aims to enhance community scale, 15,000 family farming in Sri Lanka.

In accordance with President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s strategic vision, the government is poised to initiate a pioneering pilot project in the Anuradhapura district, earmarking a substantial investment of US $ 100 million to revolutionize agricultural practices. The requisite agreement has been formally executed with Nevita Company of Portugal, signifying a significant milestone in the project’s progression.

With a total investment of US $100 million, each farming family stands to benefit from an allocation of US$ 6,000, facilitating the implementation of solar pumps and other energy projects for sustainable agriculture.

Under the guidance of President Ranil Wickremesinghe and with pivotal support from Mohamed Nasheed, this initiative underscores Sri Lanka’s dedication to addressing climate change and advancing sustainable development. The execution of the project on the ground will be driven by the collaboration between the ‘Our Movement Lanka’ organization and Nativa Capital, with oversight from the Government of Sri Lanka.

Mr. Ruwan Wijewardene, the President’s Senior Advisor on Climate Change representing Sri Lanka’s Climate Change Secretariat, former President of Maldives and the Secretary General of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), Mohamed Nasheed representing CVF and Mr. Carlos Gomes Executive Director of Nativa, representing Portugal’s Nativa Capital, collectively signed the agreement, this afternoon (07) at the Precedential Secretariat.

This endeavour not only promises economic prosperity but also seeks to empower farming communities with innovative technology and sustainable practices. It is poised to create employment opportunities, attract foreign investment, and fortify Sri Lanka’s agricultural sector.

Speaking at the ‘Collective path to a Stable country’ media briefing held at the Presidential Media centre (PMC) today (07) the Senior Advisor to the President on Climate Change, Ruwan Wijewardene stated that The Climate Change Office of Sri Lanka, in partnership with the CVF and Nativa Capital of Portugal, finalized a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today in Colombo. This collaborative agreement signals a collective commitment to undertake a farming and forest protection project in Sri Lanka, with the aim of uplifting 15,000 farming families in the Anuradhapura District, meticulous selection has designated a subset of fifteen families and 15 acres for the pilot endeavour.

The Senior Advisor to the President emphasized that the inception of this project marks a pivotal stride towards fostering a robust export-oriented economy rooted in sustainable agricultural practices.

Mr. Ruwan Wijewardene elaborated that the pilot project will focus on the cultivation of chillies, water melons and tomatoes. Additionally, the investment company will facilitate market procurement related to these crops.

Further expounding on the initiative, Mr. Ruwan Wijewardena, reiterated:

President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s initiative to modernize agriculture has attracted investment from a Portuguese company aimed at deploying advanced agricultural technology. With 15,000 families and an equivalent acreage already earmarked in the Anuradhapura district, the pilot project targets the involvement of 15 families across fifteen acres. Each family stands to benefit from an investment totalling approximately US $ 6000, which covers not only modern technical equipment but also addresses longstanding market access challenges faced by farmers. Nativa, the investment company has committed to purchasing the produce generated by this project, thereby ensuring a sustainable market outlet.

In addition to technological upgrades, efforts have been made to address market access issues faced by farmers, with the investment company committing to purchasing produce from the project. Currently focusing on chilli, tomato and water melon cultivation, the project aims to diversify into other crops in the future.

Upon the successful implementation of this pilot project, the government plans to extend modern agricultural technologies to other districts, foreseeing a transformation in the export economy and an enhancement in the quality of life for farmers.

Praising Sri Lanka’s plan at the press briefing, Mohamed Nasheed emphasized its standout status as one of the most impressive initiatives he has witnessed, successfully brought into operation. He also highlighted the significance of inaugurating a project within the Sri Lanka Climate Prosperity Plan. Led by the Climate Vulnerable Forum, these plans promote low-carbon development strategies that balance economic growth with environmental protection. With successful implementation in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Ghana, and interest from seven other countries, these plans are gaining traction worldwide. Notably, the Sri Lankan plan exemplifies environmentally friendly initiatives yielding economic benefits.

The event witnessed the esteemed presence of notable figures including Mohamed Nasheed, the Secretary General of the Climate Vulnerable Forum and Former President of Maldives, Carlos Gomes Executive Director of Nativa, Sandeep Samarasinghe, Sri Lanka’s Consul General in Australia and distinguished Attorney-at-Law Kasturi Anuradhanayake, among others.

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