CIC’s 2 billion rupee investment in agricultural projects likely to make strong impact on government’s initiatives


Samantha Ranatunga

By Steve A. Morrell

Group Managing Director CIC Holdings, Samantha Ranatunga, was interviewed by The Island Financial Review. Quite in contrast to usual expectations that the accepted norm at CIC could be business projects other than agriculture, Ranatunga expanded on their current business strategies and progress in agriculture, particularly milk production.

Some 30,000 farmer families are within the CIC business fold adhering to the outgrower


On milk production, he said when CIC moved into the dry zone areas of the East, and North East, farmer income was barely sufficient to sustain such families. Milk production was at an average of 2 liters per animal per day. However with parent stock imports from Australia the ensured progress was increases in milk production and the current achievement is 25, 000 liters per month. Needless to say this was not achieved in the short term, but considering the influx of improved agricultural methods and that farmers readily absorbed improved methods of managing their animals increases in production were inevitable.

Additionally, he said agriculture, and its progress was governed by natural circumstances including vagaries of weather, limited wherewithal, and community approaches, which were inevitably encountered.

However the Company’s focus to strategize its options and ensure practical workability for realization by 2020 was an ongoing occupational option that did receive official recognition.

Although official support was expected and conditionally extended, CIC was in large part self dependent to ensure its targets were met through sustained planning and constant farmer support.

He said the dry zone, was the area selected for the agriculture project although its conditions were described to be severe.. Drought conditions experienced in 2016 acknowledged to be the worst over a 70 year period, was a push factor to concentrate on CIC’s agricultural focus programe. Circumstances of similar proportions were a repetitive phenomena which had to be addressed and solved. At least to acceptable levels.

Cropwiz, one of the country’s largest agriculture projects, designed to be resilient to seasonal weather patterns is one such futuristic investment. Cropwiz, with an investment of one billion Rupees is an international joint venture with cutting edge green house technology which enables climate smart year round production mitigating impact of climate change.

With automated climate control and fertigation systems, green houses are expected to be self – sufficient and sustainable. Identified areas included Anuradhapura and Monaragala with further extension of similar areas envisaged within areas of land available, and the necessity of man power. He confirmed that dearth of skilled manpower was a growing concern. Young people would prefer urban jobs, even at low pay, that opt for field work.

Initially, establishment of the value chain was of priority importance with installation of milk collecting centers. As milk production increased waste was literally reduced. Milk produced was not prone to be discarded, because such collection centers had refrigeration facilities till its hygienic transport to factory sites where such produce was cycled to yogurt, and other dairy by products for market requirement.

Of significance were the farm animals; influencing sharp increases in production. More so, that such increases were effectively justified that imported animal stock and its impact on milk production was of phenomenal importance. The milk collection centers could be described successful because production targets being realized were of noteworthy success.

Additionally, infusion of the Mura Buffalo; correctly bred was a complementary factor for additional dairy product commodities.

The company investment of one billion rupees on the project was an on – going success story, that was a feature that agricultural production was effectively addressed by CIC for local production and simultaneously such produce identified for the export market. That too produced at exportable standards for identified retail outlets.

Poultry, and production of poultry products was also of

adequate importance to the company.

The company was also concentrating on tourism to adequately adhere to growing demand, and the expected influx of increased tourist traffic.

Production and storage of rice was also an area of operation for the company.

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