Investing in Training
Nuwara Eliya, October16th, 2014

NIDRO completes yet another successful training programme for growers in the Nuwara Eliya District, by disseminating information on the production of high quality vegetables and herbs in compliance with international standards, for the export market.

Ensuring quality

NIDRO staff were joined by OICs from the Quarantine Department and Senior Officials of the National Plant Quarantine Service, who once again met with growers in their fields to monitor practices and exchange information pertaining to good agricultural practices to ensure consistent high quality produce.

Quarantine officials with a grower

"Today these officials discussed with me the importance of engagIng in appropriate protocols and practices in order to produce high quality and premium products. We also spoke about the proper use of pesticides and the prevention of plant diseases" explained one of the Growers of a significant volume of vegetables in the Nuwara Eliya district - a dedicated supplier of vegetables and herbs to NIDRO for the past10 years.

A grower amidst his vegetable fields

This contract grower, has several years of experience in growing an array of up-country products such as Zucchini, Cauliflower, Carrots, Beetroot, Leeks, Lettuce, Coriander, Parsley, Mint and Celery which he cultivates in a 40 acre extent of land, managing 100 growers under his care.

"Consequent to the Company's initiatives of disseminating details of compliance demands, we are now in the process of implementing special Certification Systems for the growers in order that they consistently produce disease free products within Minimal Residual Levels (MRL) of pesticides. Growers are encouraged to follow the recommendations of the Agriculture Dept. along with their own good practices and they must register their fields with the Plant Quarantine Service as well. Thereafter, we visit their farms and enhance their performance as per the standards required by the Exporter" pointed out Mrs Champika Hewage, Senior Entomologist, OIC Plant Quarantine Station, Sea Port, Colombo.

Another grower intimated , " we have had similar programmes in the recent past together with NIDRO. They were very valuable and 150-200 growers have benefited from these sessions" . Mrs. Hewage confirmed that the Quarantine Dept. had participated in earlier Training Programmes with the Company in its mission towards sourcing only the best quality produce.

Referring to some of the issues faced by today's vegetable growers, the Asst, Director Agriculture, Plant Quarantine Station, Airport, Colombo, Mr. L.B. Hettimulla stressed that Sri Lanka has been exporting vegetables for several years , and have taken into account that discerning Buyers expect only the best quality produce. In order to achieve and maintain the requisite quality, it is important that awareness programs be conducted continuously" he emphasised.

Asst. Director Agriculture (R)in conversation with NIDRO's Head of Quality Assurance