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* Sri Lanka to set up first ever Special Agricultural Zones in 2015
Mon, Oct 6, 2014, 12:28 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Oct 06, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government is planning to set up country's first ever Special Agricultural Zones (SAZs) next year.

The Special Agricultural Zones, covering 3,000 acres, are to be set up in the three districts of the Eastern Province, the Government Media Unit said.

These special zones will be aimed at propagating integrated development in the agriculture sector.

Under the program, agriculture infrastructure in the province will be further expanded, benefitting the farming community which is 80 percent of the total population in the East.

With the setting up of SAZ infrastructure such as rural roads, markets, agro-processing equipment, food processing factories and irrigation schemes, new technology are to be developed, the government says.

Through SAZ's it is aimed to encourage farm owners to become professionals, to promote safe agriculture, encourage and to introduce new ideas to rural villages and thereby develop rural economy.

According to the government, the SAZ's concept will strive to safeguard the quality environment of agricultural production, bring into play the advantages of local industry, adjust the structure of production and marketing, and increase the efficiency and benefits of agricultural businesses.

The SAZ's are expected to attract both local and foreign investors creating new opportunities for farmers, businesses in addition to employment creation.

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