The Ministry of Agriculture will be implementing component 2 of the project. This component, Productivity Enhancement and Diversification Demonstration aims at supporting smallholder farmers to produce competitive and marketable commodities, improving their abilities to respond to market opportunities, and move towards increased agriculture commercialization. The expected outcomes of this component include: i) increased market orientation of farmers individually and in farmer organizations; ii) enhanced agriculture commercialization; and iii) the demonstration introduction and adoption of innovative technology packages via Agriculture Technology Demonstration Parks (ATDP).
Farmer Training and Capacity building
Farmer training and capacity building supports knowledge building and capacity improvement of smallholder farmers and the establishment of farmer producer organizations to help them to respond better to market opportunities. Farmer Training and Capacity Building consists of two set of activities: 1) Individual Farmer Capacity Building 2) Farmer Producer Organization Training and Development. Individual Farmer Capacity Building will be undertaken by using a detailed curriculum that developed based on the existing training modules of Farmer Business School under FAO project. Farmer Producer Organization Training will be carried out through customized curricula with relevant training modules that developed after the Training Need Assessment of existing and potential farmer organizations.
Modern Agriculture Technology Demonstration Parks (ATDPs)
ATDP is a new concept to Sri Lanka. The purpose of these parks would be to disseminate the best available and proven state-of-art agricultural technologies to Sri Lankan small holder farmers. The agriculture technology demonstration park is a place where entire agriculture value chain approaches with a clear-end market focus will be demonstrated for a single crop or crop group, aiming at commercialization. ATDPs supporting the introduction, demonstration, and scale-up of innovative agriculture technology packages that are not yet available or practiced by smallholder farmers and producer organizations. This sub-component will support the establishment of ATDPs in following seven districts. Jaffna, Mullaitivu, Batticaloa, Monaragala, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Matale which have been identified based on high poverty head counts and agriculture development potential. Each park will include approximately eight to ten entire villages and can be expanded based on demand and resource availability. The sub-component will also support the organization of two international technology fora/ conferences in the first and second year of project implementation, inviting international and domestic service providers to discuss and present their agricultural development models successfully implemented and demonstrated in similar agro-ecological and socio-cultural environments.
Production and Market Infrastructures
This sub-component supports the development of the public and production infrastructure which is necessary to support the development of the ATDPs/Clusters. Production and market infrastructure development supports i). the up-grading and rehabilitation of small scale irrigation infrastructure and existing water tanks and irrigation systems in the selected priority project areas and linked to the ATDPs; ii). The improvement of selected production and market access roads and construction of new field access tracks to improve transportation, access to markets and accessibility for agricultural machinery; and iii). Village level storage and product handling facilities, including drying flat forms and sheds, composting facilities of crop residues, storage facilities and others.
Analytical and Policy Advisory Support
The sub-component will provide support to develop an evidence-based policy, legal and regulatory framework; address knowledge gaps as well as policy and regulatory inconsistencies as they may arise from time to time with policy decisions emanating from different parts of the government; and formulate sector and sub-sector strategies to provide the suitable enabling environment for a sustainable and competitive modern agriculture and food system.