Socio-Economic Impacts of Thambuttegama Dedicated Economic Center.

By N.I.S.Fernando AG/2002/2003(A)/57 Faculty of Agriculture Rajarata University of Sri Lanka Puliyankulama.

Thambuttegama is a town located in the system ’H’ of Mahaweli within the boundaries of the administrative district Anuradhapura. Kurunegala and Puttalam are the other administrative districts that are located in the close proximity of Thambuttegama. The Dedicated Economic Center at Thambuttegama was started on 13th September 2005 with the intention to facilitate agricultural marketing. Quick movement of perishable farm products through marketing channels and good post harvest techniques are essential components in marketing of agricultural products. Adoption to post harvest techniques such as storage of the agricultural products are not common among low income farmers as those are expensive practices. Due to that reason farmers need a good marketing system. Transportation is a physical function in marketing and that absorbs a large part of marketing cost and this account nearly for 40% of total marketing cost. After the establishment of this center the distance farmer and trader have to transport farm products has reduced significantly. Extended marketing channels cause to increase the final price of the product. The establishment of Thambuttegama Dedicated Economic Center has reduced the interaction of middleman up to a considerable degree by shortening the marketing channel while reducing the involvement of the middleman. This study was mainly focused to assess the overall impact of the Thambuttegama Dedicated Economic Center on marketing of farm products especially vegetable. The study sample was consisted of Sixty five farmers, twenty five wholesalers/ transporters, ten stall owners who were selected randomly. Results revealed that; family structure, extension services of the region, yield, marketing of agricultural products, cost of production, cropping extent and cropping mixture are the common strengths in this context. As a result of the establishment of Thambuttegama Dedicated Economic Center it was significantly reduced the transportation distance of agricultural products form producer to wholesalers or commission agents thereby deterioration of quality of agricultural products was reduced. Profit of the farmers and buyers are increased because of achieving high price for their products with high qualities as well as minimum wastages. Farmers’ time was also saved while

increasing income (5%-15%) after the establishment of Thambuttegama Dedicated Economic Center. Thambuttegama Dedicated Economic Center was created several impacts on buyers such as they can buy agricultural products as due to their requirements, buyers have to pay reasonable amount of price for their purchasing product lot, products are available at right time as buyers want it, buyers can have a fresh and quality product, Bulk purchasing ability is a created advantage for wholesalers/transporters, some stall owners are providing credit facilities to wholesalers and transporters because of build understanding of them. Community was also impacted due to establishment of Thambuttegama Dedicated Economic Center such as started or expanded of several business opportunities close proximity to Thambuttegama Dedicated Economic Center premises such as Hotels, Retail boutiques because of large amount of population were there near to Thambuttegama Dedicated Economic Center, created several job opportunities, it had improvement in regional good selling. Marketing channels are use to move physical products as well as market information throughout the participants of each steps of marketing. Market information system unit is more important to communicate market information.

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