Six organic cassava processing and fruit dehydration plants to be set up | Daily News

Six organic cassava processing and fruit dehydration plants to be set up

USD 5 mn joint venture project

Starch Industries Pvt. Ltd, (a Sri Lankan agri pharma company) and Via Agri Pvt. Ltd (into agriculture and fruit processing) which entered into a joint venture will initially invest over USD 5 million to set up plants to process organic cassava and for fruit dehydration.

“We will initially set up one factory in the North Western province and subsequently add five more factories within the next two years, said Group - Managing Director, Via Tropic Foods (Pvt) Ltd, LTD T. H. Cambal. He said that construction of the first factory will commence in November and would be ready by February. He said that several foreign parties are involved in this project and they also hope to channel foreing Debt funding as well.

In a bid to create a local raw material base we will also establish plantations and a farmer network of up to 30,000 acres to grow organic cassava to supply the starch processing factory.

“We will also work with formers and sign up several forward buying agreements with farmers to cultivate organic fruits to be dehydrated and packed for export in these factories which would be jointly owned by the Starch Industries group and Via Agri group.

Tapioca starch is the second most used starch source in the world after corn (maize). It is also extensively used in the food industry as an additive, as well as a staple food. The dried fruits market has been estimated to be valued over US$ 43.54 billion in 2018, which is projected to increase at a CAGR of 5.7% during the forecast period (2018-2026). The global market size of organic fruits & vegetables is close to $98 billion and is expected to reach $160 billion by 2023.

“Our effort aims at creating thousands of jobs for farmers and farm labor, modernizing agriculture with a focus on organic farming and increasing exports of Sri Lankan agricultural products.

“We will also have a farmer training and introduce new techniques to enhance yield, starch content and healthiness of the crops as well as offer information on inter-cropping and intercropping to increase yields.”

Promotion of machinery driven, sustainable agriculture based on organic practice too would be deployed by us as we look forward to a long term journey to improve the agriculture industry in Sri Lanka. “We will also introduce ‘sensor technology’ to assist in crop management and traceability and monitoring throughout the value chain from farm to fork.

The company will also introduce to crop insurance, life insurance, micro finance to farmers and will also engage in several CSR projects

Starch Industries is a British registered company. Via Group’s mission is to be Sri Lanka’s fastest growing group of companies, providing high quality and value addition support and services to Sri Lankan and global markets.