By: Savannah Audrey
As you drive along the Colombo-Kandy road passing Nittambuwa, a few kilometers away, lies a street display: Kajugama. From a distance, you will spot the vibrant colors of the clothes of the female sellers (Kaju girls as they are fondly called). Kajugama is known for its beautiful girls in traditional dresses of cloth and jacket and long hair who will greet you with vibrant smiles.
It is said that the Portuguese sailors are the ones who introduced cashew to Sri Lanka. Cashew is something that no one can resist and is used in enhancing the flavor of various dishes. Kaju curry, a delicacy in Sri Lankan cuisine, is a must at most functions held in the country which serves rice and curry. It is not only tasty but is also loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Cashew cultivation involves a lot of risks. The shelling process is laborious and time consuming.
The cashew season in Sri Lanka begins in March and continues through April. Vendors in Kajugama get their nuts from Wariyapola, Wanathavillu, Wewagama, Giriulla, Kalpitiya, Puttalam, Ampara, Mahiyangana, Galgamuwa, Galewela, and villages in the Eastern Province. The global cashew economy is booming and Sri Lanka has to compete with some of the largest cashew exporters in the world including Africa, Brazil, Vietnam, and neighboring India.
Agriculture is the backbone of most of the developing countries in which a major part of their income comes from agriculture sector and more than half of their population depends on it for their livelihood. The current global population is nearly 7.7 billion with 50% living in Asia. A large proportion of those livings in developing countries face daily food shortages as a result of environmental impacts or political instability, while in the developed world there is a food surplus. For developing countries, the drive is to develop drought and pest-resistant crops which also maximize yield. In developed countries, the food industry is driven by consumer demand which is currently for the fresher and healthier food products.
Specifically in agriculture, technical innovation is of importance with regard to addressing global challenges such s population growth, climate change and the limited availability of important plant nutrients such as phosphorus and potassium.
Nanotechnology has gained intense attention in the recent years due to its wide applications in several areas like medicine, medical drugs, catalysis, energy and materials. Those nanoparticles with small size to the large surface area (1-100nm) have several potential functions. These days, sustainable agriculture is needed. The development of nonchemical has appeared as promising agents for the plant growth, fertilizers and pesticides. In recent years, the use of Nano materials’ has been considered as the alternative solution to control pant pests including insects, fungi and weeds.
Despite these potential advantages, the agricultural sector is still comparably marginal and has not yet made it to the market to any larger extent in comparison with other sectors of nanotechnology application.
Nanotechnology helps agricultural sciences and reduce environmental pollution of pesticides and chemical fertilizers by using the nano particles and nano capsules with the ability control or delayed delivery, absorption and more effective and environmentally friendly and production of nano -crystals to increase the efficiency of pesticides for application of pesticides with lower dose.
In the agricultural sector, nanotech research and development is likely to facilitate and frame the next stage of development of genetically modified crops, animal products inputs, chemical pesticides and precision farming techniques. The use of nanotechnology in agriculture has been mostly theoretical but it has begun and will continue to have a significant effect in the main areas of the food industry development of new functional materials, product development and design of methods and instrumentation for food safety and bio-security.
Nature’s Beauty Creations Ltd is a fully Sri Lankan owned company and the most awarded cosmetics manufacturer in Sri Lanka. Its brands include Nature’s Secrets, Panda Baby, Chandi Panda, Champion, Misumi, elithé and several others.
The company’s advanced manufacturing complex exceeds European recognized GMP quality requirements and is accredited with international ISO standards. It is also the only cosmetics company to be awarded Sri Lanka’s highest environmental award, The National Green Award – Gold, and Sri Lanka’s highest employee wellbeing award, the Sri Lanka Corporate Health & Productivity Awards – Gold (large category). Around its manufacturing complex, the company also grows and maintains Sri Lanka’s largest privately owned collection of medicinal plants (over 800 varieties) for conservation and research.
Since its inception, the company has been fiercely passionate about quality, environmental conservation, consumer and employee wellbeing, and community empowerment, embarking on a sustainable journey to create responsible beauty that is natural, safe and ethical, both within its shores and beyond. Today we are proud to have grown into one of Sri Lanka’s leading cosmetics exporters.