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‘Half of imported agricultural produce needs to be produced locally’

President Maithripala Sirisena wants to see the local production of at least half of the Rs. 300 million worth of agricultural produce that has to be imported although Sri Lanka is an agricultural country, says primary industries minister Daya Gamage.

The national food production battle has introduced a proper way forward in that regard, he says.

The minister was speaking at a mass at St. Anne’s Church, Thalawila held in connection with the entrepreneurship day of the programme yesterday.

Explaining his ministry’s contributions for the progrmame, he said those measures would also support prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s aim to double export revenue by 2020.

One of the 10 vegetable export centres to be set up under the programme will be located at Kalpitiya, he said.

Furthermore, uplifting the prawn farming with aid from the Netherlands and the daily industry with the use of the knowledge he has gained during a recent tour of Israel will be undertaken, said the minister.

On the occasion, he marked the distribution of TEJC 100,000 mango plants by planting a mango plant at the church grounds.

Head of the church Fr. Nelson Samantha Fernando, northwestern province governor Amara Piyaseeli Ratnayake and chief minister Dharmasiri Dassanayake too, participated.

The minister also distributed mango plants at a function in Anamaduwa held under the national food production battle.

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