Sri Lanka: Sustainable technology accruing steadily
Posted on December 15th, 2010

By Philip Fernando Former Deputy Editor, Sunday Observer, Sri Lanka

 A durable technological environment is a reality in several areas like agriculture, industry, tourism, telecommunications and Internet access. Optimum productivity levels seeping in due to technology use seemed well within reachable sights in the country. What is manifestly clear is that modernization is occurring not at a strained profusion rate but as a living force with its own needs and tendencies. That said we are seeing the impressive rate of growth as substantiated by the most current data.

 Paddy harvest accruing from the ten rice-growing districts in the country stood at a burgeoning level of 93,679 million bushels and 54,311 million bushels respectively during Yala and Maha seasons in 2009-2010.

 Fertilizer use under the national subsidy scheme had reached a staggering volume of 371.440 tons in the ten districts. Trends in the use of improved varieties of rice and crop rotation looked quite favourable while storage and marketing efficiencies bode well for greater things to come.

 Technology in agriculture is nothing more than efficient conversion of inputs of seeds, fertilizer and water into food. Efforts to bring uncultivated lands into production in the North and East seemed to be occurring as I write.

Technology-inducing growth

Technological improvements in the industrial sector are equally momentous. The range is extensive: cement factories, automobile assembly plants, refinery products, oil tanks and building industry come to mind.

The tech-quotient (TQ) in industry is quite compelling. Most industries tend to be technology-driven. More importantly, they are technology inducing. The airports are a good example.

Airports control the inflow of traffic and cause other auxiliary activities to be feeding the main objectives of the industry to a T. The boom in tourism compels the industry to be tech-oriented.

Aero industry itself will get a boost as training facilities for pilots, and for those involved in the accessories to aviation industry spin-off into more diverse areas of activity.

Transportation is already awakening to the accelerated development imperative. The surrounding areas close to the airports are becoming the centres of vibrant growth in commerce and entertainment with a cultural bent providing the “ƒ”¹…”value added’ input for tourism.

Tech-based education no myth

We are witnessing major strides in the use of tech-based educational access. This is no myth. The growth of the Internet is amazingly rapid.

 The Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal stated recently: “We are providing the space for people to make Sri Lanka a knowledge hub and we believe this is going to be something very interesting and important. Sri Lanka has the climate, the people who can do that and now we are providing the opportunity for them to do that.”

 Mobile phone usage reached 85 percent this year. Cell phone usage ratio was 12.1 percent for 100 people in 2003. The ratio for fixed line telephones was 4.9 percent in 2003. It is at 16.78 percent at present.

 Government sponsored Information Centre (GIC) has caught on. Over four million people had called the GIC number 2009 to receive this service in Sinhala, Tamil and English. UN’s World Summit Awards (WSA) bestowed several international awards to telecom technologies in Sri Lanka.

Poverty reduction on target

The predictable rise in private sector investments from domestic and foreign sources would triple to over 25 percent. Public sector investments are accelerating by about six to seven percent and total investment level would increase to over 30 percent within a short time.

 Governor Cabraal also predicted that the poverty level in the county will be brought down to less than four percent from the current 7.6 percent.

 Employment opportunities are rising substantially. He is confident that the IT literacy ratio will reach 75 percent by 2016 which was only 16.6 percent in 2007.

 The take-off of the economy into high gear is discernible. The banking sector is operating at near peak level as demand for borrowing is at a historical high.

 The country’s image has improved and glowing reports from well-known investment sources attest to it.

They considered Sri Lanka to be second fastest growing Asian economy. IMF gave the country a middle income emerging market status.

 The number of new and large infrastructure development projects such as ports and airports, roads, power and water projects, economic zones, hotels and hospitals provided the irrefutable evidence to the rising economic tempo in the country..

One Response to “Sri Lanka: Sustainable technology accruing steadily”

  1. Ben_silva Says:

    Excellent article. We have to encourage the use of Sri Lankan lalent, local or overseas. A mass transit (transport) system, that could be developed using local talent could save a lot of wasted energy and wasted money.

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