A huge sub-sector within Sri Lanka’s crucial Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) that directly impacts national food supply and security is being positioned for exports. Encouraged by raging exports in this sector, Sri Lanka has begun work on the country’s first ever international standard food testing and safety centre that directly focuses even the village food producers in the country.
more than 40% of Sri Lanka's SMEs are in food processing sector. These efforts are a part of the country's bigger plan to link this sector to its exports” revealed the Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka on 4 August in Colombo. Minister Bathiudeen was addressing the launch of the 16th edition of Pro Food Pro Pack Agribiz international expo at BMICH.
SMEs are in food processing sector producing at an annual reported value of Rs 100 million and employing 1.5 million people. This sector is therefore highly significant in our economic planning” said Minister Batiudeen, and added: Ministry of Commece has allocated close to Rs 195 million (US $ 1.2 Mn) for this year alone to enhance Sri Lanka’s food sector in many projects. The most important project is the setting up of Sri Lanka’s first Accredited Food Laboratory for SMEs called as the Centre for Food Analysis and Food Safety under the Industrial Development Board of this Ministry. This is also the first such facility for the SME food sector of Sri Lanka. The cost of this lab facility is Rs 140 million. It will test food products from all Districts of Sri Lanka. IDB offices in all Districts will collect the products to be tested. This lab will use both local and international standards such as SLS and ISO. It will also focus on many other Sri Lanka food industry development activities. The “Developing Small Scale Food Industries by Improving Processing Technology” project , “Facilitation of SMIs in food sector through packaging”, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) Certification project, the “Industrial Productivity Market Competitiveness and sustainability improvement programme” to bring in various international ISO certifications such as ISO 9001 ISO 14001 project, are among our the ministry's sector projects for this year. These efforts are a part of our bigger plan to link this sector to our exports.”(LI NEWS)