Cin­na­mon train­ing academy in­creases sup­ply of qual­i­fied cin­na­mon tech­ni­cians

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - AGRICULTUR­E/DAIRY -

In­ter­na­tional mar­ket de­mand for Cey­lon Cin­na­mon con­tin­ues to out­pace avail­able sup­ply. Thus, a felt need of the spice in­dus­try, par­tic­u­larly plan­ta­tion own­ers and sup­plier of raw cin­na­mon, is to qual­ify labour­ers as cin­na­mon har­vest­ing and pro­cess­ing tech­ni­cians.

The Cin­na­mon Train­ing Academy (CTA), in part­ner­ship with the Univer­sity of Vo­ca­tional Tech­nol­ogy (UNIVOTEC) re­cently com­pleted a 10-day train­ing-of-train­ers (TOT) pro­gramme for the cin­na­mon in­dus­try.

The TOT se­ries, which was in­au­gu­rated by Su­dath Liyan­age, the Dean of the Fac­ulty of Ed­u­ca­tion of UNIVOTEC and Sarada de Silva, Chair­per­son of CTA, aims to in­crease the sup­ply of qual­i­fied cin­na­mon tech­ni­cians in the coun­try, thereby con­tribut­ing to in­creas­ing the qual­ity and quan­tity of Sri Lanka-orig­i­nat­ing Cey­lon Cin­na­mon that meet qual­ity re­quire­ments de­manded by the ex­port mar­ket.

De Silva thanked the Euro­pean Union (EU) and the United Na­tions In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment Or­ga­ni­za­tion (UNIDO) for their fi­nan­cial and pro­gram­matic sup­port, re­spec­tively, to ca­pac­i­tate the CTA in be­com­ing a full-fledged train­ing facil­ity for the cin­na­mon in­dus­try.

The train­ing com­menced on 4 March 2020 and con­cluded with the cer­tifi­cate award­ing cer­e­mony on Septem­ber 22. Twenty in­di­vid­u­als from var­i­ous parts of the Is­land re­ceived the qual­i­fi­ca­tion to de­liver train­ings up to Level 4 within the Na­tional Vo­ca­tional Qual­i­fi­ca­tion (NVQ) frame­work, which is an in­ter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized vo­ca­tional cer­ti­fi­ca­tion frame­work.

Nvq-cer­ti­fied tech­ni­cians would be re­garded as com­pe­tent to ful­fil re­quire­ments of the labour mar­ket for cin­na­mon har­vest­ing and pro­cess­ing.

With ex­port sales of US$ 176mn last year, cin­na­mon is Sri Lanka’s high­est gross­ing spice and one of the lead­ing for­eign ex­change earn­ers.

Sri Lanka’s cin­na­mon out­put also re­flects the largest share in the world mar­ket. Cey­lon Cin­na­mon, in par­tic­u­lar, pos­sesses dis­tinc­tive taste and aroma, set­ting it apart from other prod­ucts in its cat­e­gory like cas­sia, which has a far higher con­tent of cour­marin, a com­pound that is shown to be toxic to the liver and kid­neys and is also car­cino­genic.

The CTA was es­tab­lished in 2016 as a re­sult of a pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship be­tween the United Na­tions In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment Or­ga­ni­za­tion (UNIDO), the World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion’s (WTO) Stan­dards and Trade De­vel­op­ment Facil­ity (STDF), and the Spice Coun­cil (TSC) of Sri Lanka and sup­ported by the Gov­ern­ment of Sri Lanka through the Sri Lanka Ex­port De­vel­op­ment Board (EDB). Within the frame­work of the EU-SRI Lanka Trade-re­lated As­sis­tance project funded by the EU and im­ple­mented by UNIDO, the CTA was ac­cred­ited by the Ter­tiary and Vo­ca­tional Ed­u­ca­tion Com­mis­sion to award NVQ cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for cin­na­mon field and fac­tory op­er­a­tions up to Level 4.

The train­ing har­mo­nizes cin­na­mon har­vest­ing and pro­cess­ing practices un­der a com­mon frame­work, par­tic­u­larly the rules of pro­duc­tion, con­trol pro­ce­dures, and cue­ing qual­ity.

As tea plan­ta­tions are con­verted to cin­na­mon plan­ta­tions in view of in­creas­ing mar­ket de­mand, the CTA has trained, to date, up­wards of 750 per­sons, the ma­jor­ity of whom are now cer­ti­fied as cin­na­mon field op­er­a­tors to NVQ level 3.

Sarada de Silva, Chair­per­son of CTA (front, cen­tre); Dr. Jairo An­dres Vil­lamil Diaz, In­ter­na­tional Tech­ni­cal Spe­cial­ist, UNIDO (front, 8th from left); Nalin Dhanushka, Pro­gramme Co­or­di­na­tor, UNIVOTEC (front, 6th from left); Pame­la­sum­ithrarachc­hi, Na­tional SME & Pro­gramme Ad­vi­sor, UNIDO (front, 2nd from right); Ya­muna Manathunga - Head of Depart­ment, UNIVOTEC (front, 1st from right); to­gether with the newly trained tech­ni­cians

Dr. Jairo An­dres Vil­lamil Diaz, In­ter­na­tional Tech­ni­cal Spe­cial­ist, UNIDO at the cer­tifi­cate award­ing cer­e­mony

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