2011 Agriculture mega forum nets over Rs 10m on spot sales
The 2011 Agriculture, Livestock, Technology and Machinery Exhibition
together with the Mannar Investor Forum and Financial Facilitator Forum,
which is the first ever mega event of this nature to be held in this
region, has grossed more than Rs 10 million in its' on the spot sales
Minister of Industry and Commerce
Rishad Bathiudeen inspecting a paddy machine at the
During its two days' duration, over 3,000 visitors thronged the show
while strong participation from Colombo's private sector was seen in its
Investor Forum and the Financial Services Facilitator forum.
The mega show was inaugurated by Minister of Industry and Commerce of
Sri Lanka Rishad Bathiudeen at Murunkan MV, Murunkan.
The event is jointly hosted by the Small and Medium Enterprise
Developers (SMED) of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry
of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) and Mannar District Chamber of Commerce and
The exhibition which is organised in collaboration with Ministry of
Industry and Commerce, District Secretariat- Mannar, Northern Provincial
Department of Agriculture - Mannar, Northern Provincial Department of
Animal Production and Health- Mannar is supported by the European Union.
FCCISL's estimates at the end of the two day event revealed that more
than Rs 10m sales have been successfully concluded. Among the on the
spot sales contributing to this revenue were five tractors (agro
sector), plants and seeds, sales of rice mills, de-husking and
processing machine set ups (three), and many agro sector water pumping
machine units. These completed sales values do not include additional or
confirmed orders for purchases and other inquiries to be processed in
the coming days.
As for agro and industrial machinery alone, more than 1,000 inquiries
have been lodged. DIMO, the sponsors for the event, also revealed that
very high interest was seen for paddy harvesting machinery. In
comparison, inquiries for fertilisers and pesticides appeared to be
lesser. Hayleys, Browns, Dave Tractors (distributors in Sri Lanka for
John Deer tractors) and Red Rose Garments are among the successful
sellers at the event reporting profitable participation.
Some of these firms also were playing a top role in the Investor's
Forum. "As potential investors, we are happy of the outcome" a private
sector representative said in the immediate aftermath of the Investor's
The highest private sector interest for investments were for tourism,
fishing and palmyra product development sectors.
Among the active banks in the Financial Services Facilitator Forum
were Sampath Bank, People's Bank, Bank of Ceylon, and HNB.
Among the agro insurance aspects that were in high demand was crop
insurance. HNB Assurance appeared attracting many prospective farmer
clients from the region.
Minister Bathiudeen, inaugurating the mega show, said: "A first ever
mega event of this nature held for the region, it bestows me and my
people with great honour". Mannar region voters also represented by
Minister Bathiudeen as he was re-elected as a Member of Parliament in
April 2010 from the Vanni, comprising Vavuniya, Mannar and Mulaitivu
Speaking on the background to the event, he said "The story of this
mega event goes as far back as 2009 when Oxfam GB was contracted by the
European Union as an implementer of the project "Socio-Economic
Development for Conflict Affected Communities of North and East Sri
The project was to improve access to infrastructure and enhanced
capacity to significantly improve household income and food security of
conflict affected families. The committed Federation of Chambers of
Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka is the key national private sector
implementing partner of Oxfam.
The Mannar has been a very backward region due to the three decades
of terrorism and now, in the aftermath of the peace in Sri Lanka due to
the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Mannar region has begun
to develop at a rapid pace.