Sri Lanka’s private sector moving ahead despite power stand-off

Dave Group unveils innovative John Deere farming technology in Sri Lanka, at an event held at Colombo Hilton yesterday. (L-R) Vinayak Vasagade Sales Manager , John Deere Asia, Jurgen Sieber- Director Sales and Marketing John Deere Asia Ms. Minelle Siriwardena- Executive Director, Dave Group, Dave Siriwardena- chairman Dave Group, and Ms. Menika- Territory Sales Manager, John Deeere Asia.

A new mindset seems to be emerging among some private businesses to get ahead with their growth plans, launches and innovations regardless of the debilitating effects on the country’s business landscape caused by the ongoing political power stand-off which has worn out its welcome.

Two such events were seen at the Colombo Hilton yesterday where Dave Tractors and Combines (Pvt) Ltd in Yakkala introduced innovative John Deere farming technology in Sri Lanka while British cinema industry stakeholders were seen promoting Sri Lanka as an ideal film location.

The lack of policy support for such ventures was conspicuous by the absence of policymakers at these events.

Minelle Siriwardena, Executive Director Dave Group responding to a question posed by The Island Financial Review said that at the end of the day businesses have to make decisions according to their vision and growth plans. “We are on good terms with politicians on both aisles and we are keen to implement business decisions at the appropriate time with the level of awareness we have about the industry”.

“We at Dave Group plan to introduce innovations that would help farmers to prepare land faster and mechanize sowing, spraying and harvesting. In Sri Lanka our staple food is rice, and since we cannot fulfill the demand, as a country we import rice from some parts of the world. If we do the farming in a scientific way we can be self-sufficient. Modern agriculture methodologies will help improve productivity and provide a greater yield. So, we are working within this knowledge and it doesn’t matter to us much whether policymakers are here or not today. What matters to us is whether the farming community will be financially strong to purchase such new equipment and their market will be sustainable to help recover their return on investment (ROI) within a significantly short time. ,” Ms. Siriwardena said

“The effects of climate change have a major impact on rice production in Sri Lanka. It is believed that innovative mechanization will help farmers to adapt to these changes and make recovery faster. These innovations could be well within the reach of the farmers,” she said.

“The traditional farming methods such as ploughing using buffaloes is now on the wane and land is prepared using tractors. We have more than 100 dealers Islandwide, and we provide ‘unbeatable’ after-sales service. In the years to come we plan to strengthen our partnerships and help Sri Lankan farmers in their bid to reach self-sufficiency”, she said.

Siriwardena made these comments where internationally renowned John Deere range of farming equipment launched its leading brands – enhanced with innovative technology – in Sri Lanka.

“Currently, the Dave Group markets agricultural equipment such as 2WD and 4WD tractors, implements, combine harvesters, front end loaders, sprayers and agricultural tools. We also have construction equipment such as excavators and motor graders as well as forestry equipment such as log loaders and timber jacks. Modern agriculture methodologies will help improve productivity and provide a greater yield,” she said.

Siriwardena also spoke about the shortage of manpower in Sri Lanka. “This is an issue that needs to be addressed by all stakeholders in the agricultural industry. This is where innovative mechanization can play a vital role in increasing both productivity and profit of farmers. We will be encouraging more farmers to access the newer machinery with innovative technology.’

Dave Group has an extensive range of John Deere equipment for the Sri Lankan market and the brand has won global recognition as the leading brand for agricultural machinery and equipment. This leadership in Sri Lanka has been possible through the partnership between John Deere and Dave Group over the past two decades.

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