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TRAINING ON MARKETING OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCE

More than125 farmers attended two training programs on marketing of agricultural products held in Kekirawa and Padaviya on 29th and 30th August 2014 under the Caritas project to ensure food security. The project, titled “Substantiation of Community Institutions for Sustainable Agriculture to Ensure Food Security, is being implemented in the Dioceses of Anuradhapura, Batticaloa, Kurunegala.The  sessions in Kekirawa drew 74 participants from the villages of Alagollewa, Mihintale, Ipalogama, Minneriya, Laxauyana, Hurulewela,Gajabapura, Diulankadawela, Karakolagalayaya, Ganthiriyagama and Galkiriyagama, while in Padaviya there were 55 participants from the villages of Bisokotuwa and 1st Milepost. Most of those who attended were women who face particular constraints in improving their livelihoods. Mr P B Tennekoon, Business Promotion Consultant and Ms Nilani Tissera, Caritas National Project Coordinator for the Food Security program facilitated the training workshops.

In the past one and half years, Caritas Sri Lanka has promoted organic farming, home gardening, establishing domestic economic units, preparation of pest repellants and liquid fertilizer among the farming communities in the Districts of Amapara, Batticaloa, Polonnaruwa, Kurunegala and Anuradhapura in order to strengthen the production process as a core activity. In terms of marketing, it had been noticed that the methods adopted by these farmers were quite weak and they were only able to cater to the domestic demand within their own localities. Their preoccupation with domestic duties and having to care for their children also placed limitations on their ability to try other marketing techniques and opportunities.

The training workshops conducted by Caritas, however, helped them to gain new knowledge on the identification, selection and development of farm produce according to customer needs, as well as pricing methods, promotional strategies and finding suitable channels of distribution.

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