The Eastern Province of Sri Lanka is one of the nine provinces of Sri Lanka and consists of three administrative districts viz; Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara. The population of the Eastern Province is around 1.7 million. The boundaries of the Eastern Province are; in the North by the Northern Province, East by the Bay of Bengal, South by the Southern Province and the West by North Central and Uva Provinces.
It is endowed with plethora of natural resources with high potential for development in several areas including commercialized agriculture, tourism and fisheries. Availability of natural harbor in Trincomalee and connected network of transportation by land and air provide enormous opportunities for the harnessing of potential for related development projects.
It has a total land area of 9,996 sq.km of which 635 sq.km are inland water bodies. Water bodies include the lagoons, bays, freshwater tanks and streams in the area. With regard to land utilization, the province has 393,742 Ha of agricultural land (42.06 % of the land area of the province). The coastal line of 431 km extends from Kokilai in the northern boundary to Panama in the southern boundary of the province. The agriculture, fisheries, forestry and mining sectors in the Eastern Province have significant potential and presently make important contribution to economic growth. The agriculture sector including crop agriculture, livestock farming and fisheries is the dominant productive sector in the Province and contributes 16.8% of the provincial GDP.
Overview of Agriculture Sector of Southern Province
(Including Livestock & Fisheries)
The Agriculture sector is the dominant productive sector contributing much in the economy of the Province as 70 % of the total population involve in agriculture and its related activities for their livelihood, resulting in rapid development of the agriculture sector in the Province. Paddy which is the dominant and important crop in the province is being cultivated in 45.6 % of the total agricultural land area and it is 19.2% of the land area of the province. Paddy harvesting yield was 1.1 Mn Mt in 2018 and OFC cultivation was 60,397.88 Mt in year 2017.
Fisheries sector is the second important productive sector of the province, next to agriculture. Existing long coastal shoreline (23% of total coastal line of the island) of the province contributes to marine fishing activities, giving opportunities to the fishing community to involve in fishing related activities including export of fish products. There are around 99,690 active marine and inland fishermen deploying over 12,736 mechanized fishing boats of various types and 2,475 inland fishing boats. In Eastern Province, inland fishing contributes 26.57% of national inland fish production while marine fishing contributes 16% of the national marine fish production.
The livestock Industry has become an important sector for entrepreneurs in the Eastern Province as this province is one of the major milk producing regions in Sri Lanka. Milk production reached 171,600 liters per day and the egg production reached 6.6 Mn per month in 2018. Given below are some vital statics of the livestock sector of Eastern Province;
According to 2018 Annual Report of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, the livestock sector contributes 0.85 % to GDP. According to the Department of Animal Production & Health year 2018 statistical information, Eastern Provincial cattle population was 500,948. Buffalo population was 206084. Provincial goat population is 232,967. Comparing the milk production with other provinces in the country, Eastern Province holds 3rd place by producing 66.8 Mn Liters milk in year 2018. As a Province, in year 2018, Eastern Provincial annual average milk production of cow milk was 49.8 Mn Liters and buffalo milk 17 Mn Liters and its contribution to the national milk production was 13.5 %. The provincial milk production has been increasing during the last few years by means of 96,411 Liters per day in 2006 to 171,600 Liters per day in 2018.
Technology Application Priorities of Eastern Province
Given below is the summary of technology application priorities of the Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries sub sectors of the Eastern Province.
Sixteen technology applications have been identified for the consideration of the TSSC Project and they are listed in the above table. Provincial priorities are indicated under three levels; “High”, “Medium” and “Low”. Applications having high prospects for business development and high prospects for further research and development also have been identified and marked as “high”.