POSTED AT 03:30 PM 02-01-2019
Serendib Horticulture Technologies to enter Rwanda
Serendib Horticulture Technologies Pvt. Ltd in Sri Lanka has been working with a company in Rwanda to develop the horticulture industry in Rwanda.
The government of Rwanda which supports this initiative has got into Public Private Partnerships with the Rwandan company. With all the financial commitments been finalized, the project is set to commence during the month of January 2019.
Over the last eighteen months the company was working on the project with the Rwandan counterpart on various technical matters, market information and the business plan. The business plan which was done by Serendib was accepted by the Rwandan government and the funding agencies.
The government of Rwanda has identified the need for good, clean, disease free planting material as their main requirement to boost agriculture in Rwanda. This objective is relentlessly pursued by the Rwandan government and has given top priority on its agriculture policy.
The main components of the project will be a tissue culture laboratory, virus indexing facility and a research and development facility.
These will be done in stages, Dilip de Silva, Chairman and CEO of Serendib told Daily News Business.
“The Tissue culture facility has been designed by the company and now it’s under construction. We are expecting the construction to be completed by end of January said.
Production work on some of the products has already commenced at the Serendib laboratory in Sri Lanka. Once the lab in Rwanda is completed, the stocks will be transferred to Rwanda, to commence production without further delay.” he said.
“This project also requires Serendib Horticulture to produce over 1-2 million plants from Sri Lanka over the next 2 years.
Since we are running at full capacity at our lab at Boralasgamuwa, we will be speaking to some of the other tissue culture labs to produce the required varieties on contract.
This will also give a boost to other labs in Sri Lanka to increase their turnover.
Since this is a very big project, I’m not expecting everything to be done by our company, I’m hoping that some of the other companies will be willing to work with me on this project,,” said Dilip de Silva.
The training of the Rwandan staff will be done by staff at Serendib and they will be working in Rwanda on three month stints over the next three years. “This will be great experience for my staff who are very well experienced in the field of plant tissue culture, he said.
Dilip de Silva further elaborated that this project will also require Lankan experts in the field of plant virus indexing working for the public sector in Sri Lanka, to work in Rwanda for short periods to establish the virus indexing unit in Rwanda. Discussions are underway to establish this unit. The requirement in Rwanda is for disease free planting material in various fruit crops, which the government is very keen to commence distribution to farmers by the end of 2019. “2019 is going to be a very exciting and busy year for the company and its employees, where we will project our expertise and experience in the field of horticulture in the African continent and establishing Sri Lankans as experts in horticulture,” he added.