The farmer community in Sri Lanka is in for a bonanza soon when the Starch Industries (Pvt) Ltd, a Sri Lankan agri-pharma company based in Colombo with Scandinavian and Sri Lankan management launches its cassava (manioc) refining industry in Welikanda in the Polonnaruwa district next week.
The market for organic manioc starch is growing at global level. Hence, the Starch Industries will set up a large-scale industrial complex to process manioc roots and refine them into tapioca starch as well as processing cassava leaves into leaf extract powder and capsules.
The business operations of the Starch Industries include production, processing, sales and export of organic cassava and tapioca starch.
Sweden-based starch manufacturer has selected Sri Lanka because this country has a long tradition of manioc cultivation. Sri Lanka is an ideal location for growing cassava.
The company also felt, “Sri Lanka is also a favourable location for directing Foreign Direct Investments due to pretty stable political conditions and favorable financial incentives and protection for foreign companies.”
“Sri Lanka together with Bangladesh and India are among the world s most emerging markets We will make our contribution to create growth in the historically Important agriculture industry in Sri Lanka.”
Starch Industries (Pvt) Ltd is currently establishing three major business lines – Cultivation and sales of organic cassava in Sri Lanka and exporting to customers in China and the Middle-East, Refining of organic cassava into tapioca starch to be exported to Europe, USA, China and the Middle-East, other Asian markets and Processing and packing of cassava leaves to be sold as vegetable, to be cleaned, crushed and used in herb capsules as nutrition supplement and used as medicine for cancer treatment and in ayurvedic medicine and to be sold as animal fodder.
This project is being implemented in co-operation with Gramashakthi Village Empowerment Movement of President Maithripala Sirisena. It is a true win-win situation for the country, the agriculture industry and the farmers with efficient and sustainable use of underutilized lands across the island for cultivation of cassava – a native crop which requires less investments, fertilizers and pesticides and is easy for the farmers to grow.
This is the first project to produce value-added cassava products in Sri Lanka and create a large market for export.
The Starch Industries’ project aimed to become the number 1 exporter of manioc products in Sri Lanka and a world class organic agricultural company.
Starch Industries (Pvt) Ltd (STIN) is the Sri Lankan operational company of Starch Industries Global Ltd., (STIG), a British registered company. Ten years of planning, significant investments, previous operations of the largest cassava plantation in Sri Lanka comprising of 300 acres, involvement in various successful agricultural operations and close co-operation and partnership with the Government has enabled STIN to launch probably the largest agricultural project in the history of Sri Lanka.
The proposed produce of this project are organic cassava roots, tapioca starch, cassava leaf extract and potentially also tapioca flour, as well as other crops such as fruits and vegetables grown as rotation crops.
Its services are cultivation, processing, production, marketing, distribution and sales of the products. Its production facilities include tapioca starch plant, cassava leaf processing plant, bio gas plant, nucleus plantation, out-grower farms, irrigation systems and logistics system.
Starch Industries will also introduce new cultivation technology in Sri Lanka, cutting edge cassava cultivation technologies and methodologies to enhance yields, produce healthy crops and providing training to promote the next generations of farmers.
The Company aims to become a significant producer of tapioca starch to the world market, a leading employer in Sri Lanka, provide stable incomes, and create a better standard of living for numerous farmers and their families and stimulate economic growth in rural areas.
Starch Industries is about to set up a large-scale industrial complex to process cassava roots and refine them into tapioca starch as well as processing cassava leaves into leaf extract powder and capsules.
The Company is setting up a nucleus plantation in addition to working with GramaShakthi to establish large-scale supply of cassava through a one-of-its-kind outgrower farmer system.
Future expansion potentially also includes set up of a bio ethanol plant based on cassava as well, especially to process the lower grade roots which are not perfectly suited for producing high-quality organically certified tapioca starch.
The total project will engage from 20,000-100,000 farmers during the coming 10-15 years and establish organic cassava cultivation on up to 100,000 acres of farmland throughout Sri Lanka.
Under this project, a farmer out-grower system will be established to improve the livelihood of local farmers through cultivation of organic cassava in North-Central Province of Sri Lanka through a collaboration between Starch Industries (STIN), the GramaShakthi People’s Movement Program.
The Grama Shakthi People’s Movement Program will be benefited through establishment a well-functioning out grower farmer system for cassava cultivation that can be replicated for other agriculture projects in Sri Lanka. It will provide cultivation expertise and significant knowledge of modern agriculture practice to enable the Program to provide improved services to their farmer networks. Under this, a significant contribution could be made to introduce new technologies and efficient cultivation methodology to modernise the agriculture industry of Sri Lanka.
The farmers and local communities will be benefited by supply of cassava stem cuttings to farmers for planting purpose when required, transportation services to pick up cassava leaves and roots from farmers and deliver to the STIN factory, access to crop insurance to the farmers and to financial security advisory, micro finance, buyback guarantee.
BY SUGEESWARA SENADHIRA