Mr. Arundika Fernando, State Minister of Coconut, Kithul and Palmyra Cultivation Promotion, Related Industrial Product Manufacturing & Export Diversification undertook an official visit to France from 04- 10 September 2021. During the visit, the State Minister participated several events organized by the Embassy of Sri Lanka.
During the visit, State Minister met with Mrs Elisabeth Claverie, CEO of CIRAD, Center for International Cooperation in Agronomic Research for Development on 08.09.2021.
A fruitful discussion was held on how CIRAD can work with Sri Lanka in its agroecological transition and developing value-chains of associated products of Coconut, Kithul, Rubber and other tropical crops. A discussion on a virtual platform will be organized between CIRAD and Agricultural Research Institutes in Sri Lanka including coconut, palmyra, rubber and tea.
CIRAD is the French agricultural research and cooperation organization working for the sustainable development of tropical and Mediterranean regions.
Ambassador Hirimburegama appreciated the long-standing relationship between the French Government and its Development Agencies. Further the Ambassador commended the support given by CIRAD in previous research collaborations. The CEO of CIRAD commended the efforts taken by the President in converting Sri Lankan Agricultural sector to using organic fertilizers.
Ms. Emily Klander, Head of Public Affairs of CIRAD, Mr. François Côte, Director Performance of Production Systems attended the meeting.
On 09 September a meeting with State Minister and Mr Sylvain Maestracci, Counselor for CAP, European & International Affairs and advisor to French Agricultural Minister was held with the participation of Ambassador Hirimburegama and Officials from both sides.
The Minister explained Sri Lanka's view on usage of organic/bio fertilizers, value addition and tourism. Further the officials exchanged views on mutual areas of interest such as reducing food and product wastage, transition, sharing scientific and technological expertise.
It was explained by the Minister, how the Development Board has initiated programmes that directly benefit and uplift the livelihoods of the people in North and East of Sri Lanka by developing the Palmyra product industry.
Ms.Françoise Simon, Head of General Directorate of Economic and Environmental Performance of Enterprises, Ms. Christine Fortin, Officer in charge of South Asia and South East Asia of General Directorate of Economic and Environmental Performance of Enterprises attended the meeting from the French Minister of Agriculture, Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama, Ambassador of Sri Lanka, Mr Krishantha Pathiraja, Chairman of Palmyra Development Board, Ms Dulanji Herath, Second Secretary, Mr Amila Dissanayake, Third Secretary, Mr Nicolas Cretin, Ms. Heloise Dimpre, Interpreter of the Sri Lanka Embassy and Mr. Bastian Beaufort, importer of Sri Lankan Agri products also joined the discussions.