Diversified agro-chemical conglomerate CIC Holdings PLC has invested Rs.2 billion in new agricultural projects, the group annual report said. “In addition to the organic growth from the existing business ventures, the group has invested Rs.2 billion in growth sectors enhancing the future earnings potential of the group , ” CIC Holdings Chairman Harsha Amarasekara said. He noted that the group invested Rs.1 billion on the construction of two of the country’s largest maize drying and storage facilities near the villages of Talawa and Siyambalanduwa with a capacity of 50,000 metric tonnes
“This venture epitomises CIC’s philosophy of creating broader stakeholder value and is aligned with the Agriculture Ministry’s Food Production National Programme 2016 – 2018, where maize is a crop aimed at self-sufficiency,” he said. Amarasekara added that the Sustainability Development Goals of poverty alleviation, zero hunger and reduced inequalities were addressed as well. “The project also supports around 10,000 farmers in these two rural communities through buy back guarantees and provision of technical support,” he said. He noted that the farmers had also been provided with crop protection insurance and banking services. Another Rs.1 billion has been invested to cultivate vegetables in state-of-the-art greenhouses. “Higher value vegetables will be grown for export, supporting the country’s export drive and building CIC’s reputation as an exporter of high-quality vegetables,” Amarasekara said. He added that the investment in greenhouses sought to mitigate the impact of adverse weather, land and labour shortage, which regularly hamper the output of the agriculture sector.