Thursday, July 23, 2009

Giving economic value of agro-technology....!!!

Gannoruwa Agriculture Park
Giving economic value of agro-technology:

Ganga Illeperuma in Kandy

Agriculture is the most important sector of the Sri Lankan economy. Even though its contribution to the gross domestic product declined substantially during the past 3 decades, it is the most important source of employment for the majority of the Sri Lankan workforce.

Agriculture in Sri Lanka mainly depends on rice production. Its main goal is to achieve an equitable and sustainable agricultural development through development and dissemination of improved agriculture technology.

Students visit the park. Picture: Audio visual centre of Gannoruwa Agriculture Park

There are a few agriculture parks established by the department. One is located at Gannoruwa and the most recent one is at the Bataatha. Bataatha Park has recently become world famous for having the world’s first farmers monument at its entrance.

A novel concept in agricultural extension was introduced in 2004 by establishing an Agro-Technology Park (ATP) at Gannoruwa. There were many objectives to build this park and the main objective is the capacity building of various stakeholders of agriculture. The other objectives include recreation, facilitation of research, promotion of agro-tourism and generation of funds. The ATP provides information on traditional and modern technology related to agriculture.

The visitors to the park comprise objective students and general public and they mainly came from nearby districts.

The majority of adult visitors is directly involved in agriculture and the main purpose of the visit was to improve knowledge in agriculture and recreation. The majority ranks the park as an excellent place for information; applicable technology, and motivation for agriculture. The total annual welfare generated by the park is equal to Rs.14.8 million and the park generates positive economic benefits from the 3rd year of its operation.

The results suggest that the park has achieved its major objectives of the project. However, attention has to be paid on programs to attract more early adopters of technology to obtain an immediate impact from the park services and the omitted secondary objectives.

Purpose of the project
1 Quick information dissemination mechanism for farmers, School children and General public.

2 A place to see and learn latest recommendations of crop cultivation and technologies generated by both public and private institutions.

3 A place to see and study traditional/heritage agriculture systems and future hi-tech agriculture.

4 Education and training mechanism for village level extension workers as face to face training of widely dispersed large number is practically an impossible task

5 Strengthening the present research and development activities of Gannoruwa agriculture complex.

6 Information network among agriculture officers, Govijana Kendra, agriculture institutes, both public and private.

7 Aesthetically beautiful landscaping with tropical crops.

8 A site for Eco-tourism/Agro-tourism.

9 To prevent losing the Gannoruwa Agricultural Complex due to non agricultural projects.

10 Generation of funds within the system for its sustainability

11 Sales centre for plants, seeds and other products of government institutions and the private sector entrepreneurs.


Second Annual Research Forum of SAEA, 2008: Poster Presentation


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