Local News: With the onset of COVID19 cases in Sri Lanka, the Special Presidential Task Force, headed by Mr. Basil Rajapaksa, has introduced a number of special measures to further strengthen the mechanism currently in operation through the Sub Committee on Essential Food, including vegetables and fruits.
With the coordination of the Ministry of Internal Trade, Food Security and Consumer Welfare and the District Secretaries, successful programs are being implemented island-wide to distribute essential food items through Divisional Secretariats, Co-operative Departments and government institutions.
However, health authorities have pointed out that there is a high likelihood of the disease spreading due to the large number of people gathering near Special Economic Centres. Farmers are involved in the cultivation of vegetables and fruits for the festive season. This interest in selling their high yields as the harvest season dawns also poses a high risk.
The Secretary to the Ministry of Internal Trade, Food Security and Consumer Welfare has issued a circular in this regard. Therefore, the following new methods will be implemented from 2020.04.05 to replace the present method of bringing bulk stocks of vegetables to the economic centres and transporting them to different parts of the country.
The special economic centres at Dambulla, Thambuththegama, Nuwara Eliya, Keppetipola and Embilipitiya will function only via telecommunication facilities
and will not be open to traders.
The Committee on the Distribution of Essential Foods functioning at the Divisional Secretariats should report to the Coordinating Office of the Economic
Centre before 10:00 a.m. every day to obtain the required quantities of vegetables and fruits for the registered vegetable traders in their division. When ordering, the relevant order per item of vegetables or fruits should be a minimum of 7000kg.
The quantities and prices requested should be agreed between the Divisional Secretariats and Special Economic Centres.
The Economic Centre Liaison Office will notify, before 2:00 p.m. the same day, the possibility of the delivery of such orders.
After agreeing on the prices and quantity of orders, the relevant Economic Centre will supply the required quantity of vegetables and fruits to the relevant Divisional
Once the vegetables are received in the Divisional Secretariat, the wholesalers should hand over the stock to the relevant vendors under the supervision of committees operating in the Divisional Secretariats. Unloading of vegetables from lorries should be carried out by vendors purchasing the same.
The quality of vegetables received should be reported to the Economic Centre.
These are some special advantages that can be obtained at the Economic Centres by carrying out the operations through telecommunication methods.
• Enabling the consumer to purchase vegetables at reasonable prices.
• Availability of vegetables in all parts of the island without shortages.
• Enabling the customer to buy fresh vegetables and fruits.
• Ability to market all products to vegetable producers.
• Ability for the customer to buy vegetables of their choice.
• Minimizing post-harvest losses.
• Enabling local vegetable vendors to obtain their orders efficiently.
The liaison centre located inside Special Economic Centres can be contacted using the information below.
Special Economic Centre Manager Telephone Number Fax Email
Dambulla 071 449505 066 2285181 firstname.lastname@example.org
Thambuththegama 070 1366818 025 2275171 email@example.com
Nuwara Eliya 077 0130332 052 2223176 firstname.lastname@example.org
Keppetipola 071 4459420 057 2280208 email@example.com
Embilipitiya 071 7230693 047 2261989 firstname.lastname@example.org
Until further notice, these mechanisms will be in operation at the above Economic Centres, while the coordination will be done by the Operation Centre of the Presidential Task Force on Coordination and Monitoring of Continuous Delivery of Public Services. The telephone number of the Presidential Task Force for Operation, Coordination and Monitoring of Continuous Delivery of Essential Public Services is 0113 – 456 225.