ILO Continues Farmer Empowerment through Economic Development

The Processing Plant is a joint collaboration between the ILO LEED project and Greenfield Bio Plantations (Pvt) Ltd with the financial support of the Australian Government was declared open on the July 20, 2016 by HE Bryce Hutchesson Australian High Commissioner of Sri Lanka and the Maldives

Press release | 20 June 2016
HE Bryce Hutchesson Australian High Commissioner of Sri Lanka and the Maldives declared opens the processing plant
The Fruits and Vegetable Processing Plant is a joint collaboration between the ILOs Local Empowerment through Economic Development project (LEED) and Greenfield Bio Plantations (Pvt) Ltd with the financial support of the Australian Government was declared open on the July 20, 2016 by HE Bryce Hutchesson Australian High Commissioner of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Shri A.Natarajan Consul General of India, Jaffna, in the presence of Hon. Ponnuthurai Ayngaranesan, Minister of Agriculture Co-operative Development for Northern Province, Mr. Muttusammy Chairman of Green Field Bio Plantation, Ms.IndraTudawe Senior Programme Officer of ILO office. Those present at the opening were the Provincial Director of Agriculture Mr. Sivakumar, Deputy Director of Agriculture for Kilinochchi Mr.Sevarasa, Assistant commissioner of Cooperative development Miss. Kanakammah. Officials from Green Filed Bio plantation, Staff of Divisional secretariat, community leaders and members of the cooperative society and the people of Mulankavil were also present at this event.

Through the Australian-funded LEED project, the Mulankavil Vinyagapuram Farmers cooperative has formed a joint venture with Sri Lankan-owned Greenfield Bio Plantations to process selected vegetables and fruits through dehydration, for the export markets. This partnership has created additional employment through value addition to primary products whilst generating a market for regular sale of primary produce by the farmers. Most of the producers, many of whom are women, now have a secure market in selling their produce directly through the Cooperative to Greenfield, and the processing centre provides much needed local employment opportunities. Further, under this partnership, the local farmers have also been encouraged to cultivate organic agricultural produce for the growing global market.


Addressing the gathering at the opening ceremony the Chief Guest, HE Bryce Hutchesson Australian High Commissioner of Sri Lanka and the Maldives stated that the private sector in the world is providing employment opportunities on a large scale; and further highlighted the importance of increasing the role of women in the development process as active partners. He stated that involvement of women in the cooperative sector in different dimensions has empowered the cooperative societies in the project districts of the North to create stronger market linkages while also increasing their bargaining power with buyers and exporters.

Ms.Indra Tudawe, Senior Programme Officer, ILO in her opening remarks stated that the support from the ILO’s LEED project, empowered the community, both socially and economically through the cooperative mechanisms. She further stated that the ILOs strategy in engagement of long term development in the North has provided very positive and tangible results. The concept and practices of this project can be taken as a model to be replicated elsewhere in the country for reconciliation through economic empowerment for sustained employment for vulnerable communities.

The LEED project has been able to link the farmers of the northern provincial districts of Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Vavuniya with markets of local buyers and agricultural produce exporters from the rest of the country. This partnership has not only provided a regular and increased income to these farmers thus increasing their family welfare, but has built trust and better understanding between different communities in the country contributing to peace and prosperity of Sri Lanka.