Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)
CTC rewards farming excellence at Farmer Appreciation Awards
Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC), held their annual Farmer Appreciation Awards ceremony recently in Kandy.
The event is held to reward the contribution of tobacco farmers who are the cornerstone of success to the company. Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abewardena graced the event as Chief Guest, while many other dignitaries from the Ministry of Agriculture, the Department of Agriculture and other government agencies were also present.
Held for the 10th consecutive year, the objective of the award ceremony has been to recognize excellence and reward outstanding performance of the past crop year. This year, 78 farmers were rewarded in the categories of productivity, flavour, best productivity in green production and best productivity in Burley tobacco production. The 2013 awards also marked a special occasion as one farmer, T G Gunadasa was granted the lifetime achievement award in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the industry in the last 30 years.
Head of Leaf at CTC, Chandana Pathiraja said, “Tobacco growing is a significant component of our supply chain. As such, we consider it our duty to ensure that farmers get the recognition they deserve both for their contribution to the company’s success and for their unmatched contribution to the country’s economy”. He also went on to say that as a company with over 80 years of experience in the agriculture field in Sri Lanka, CTC is in an excellent position and is willing to share its expertise and best practices
This year, 78 farmers were rewarded in the categories of productivity, flavour, best productivity in green production and best productivity in Burley tobacco production
with other agricultural sectors in the country.
CTC’s Supply Chain Director, Shah Mansoor Khalil addressing the gathering said,“The contribution tobacco farmers have made to the business as well as to the rural and national economy over the years has been enormous. As a key stakeholder of the tobacco industry, the company stands committed to develop farmer livelihoods. We believe in ‘Farmer moments’ which for us means helping farmers enhance their lives and economic threshold. ”
The Honorable Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena speaking at the event said, “We recognize the support extended by CTC to its farmers. Conducting events such as this appreciation ceremony encourages farmers to perform better and deliver greater results. The company’s guidance also helps them to carry out cultivation in a sustainable manner and obtain more profits. I request CTC to explore opportunities to export leaf as it will help raise the profitability of the farmer even higher.”
CTC has a long history in agriculture; the expertise provided by the company to farmers has improved both the quality of crops as well as yield. Farmers are often given opportunities to attend training sessions organized by CTC both locally and overseas in order to keep abreast with the latest techniques and technologies in farming. Through a robust method, CTC promotes the use of economically and environmentally friendly agricultural practices, encouraging methods in which soil and water are conserved, use of natural pest control techniques and the use of paddy husk as an alternative fuel for leaf curing. CTC’s interventions ensure the quality, yield and profitability of tobacco farmers.