10/06/2014, 00.00
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Sri Lanka's first Special Agricultural Zone to attract foreign capital

The project should be up and running within a year. The area, which covers 3,000 acres, is located in the eastern part of the country where 80 per cent of the population works in agriculture. The project will also provide an opportunity to upgrade the local infrastructure.

Colombo (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Sri Lankan authorities announced today that the country's first Special Agricultural Zone (SAZ) should be operational by 2015. The government's plan also includes greater investment in infrastructure.

The pioneering venture will extend over 3,000 acres in three districts in the island's Eastern Province, and should benefit local farmers who represent 80 per cent of the area's residents.

The government also plans to invest in new technologies, build new infrastructure like roads and irrigation schemes, improve farming equipment, and open new food processing facilities. To do so, the authorities plan to attract foreign capital.

The aim of Special Agricultural Zones is to encourage small farmers to become more "professional" as well as promote safer agricultural practices.

According to the government, the basic concept of SAZ is to safeguard the quality of a farming area's environment whilst making it more competitive.

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