The Ministry of Agriculture has agreed to provide 5,000 acres of state land to Avant Agro (Pvt) Ltd., a subsidiary of Avant Garde Maritime Services (Pvt) Ltd headed by Major
(Retd) Nissanka Senadhipathi.


A proposal was submitted by Avant Garde Maritime Services to the Prime Minister to rehabilitate drug addicts and prisoners by allowing them to develop skills development for better social integration and employability and accordingly, an agreement was reached between the Ministry of Agriculture and Avant Agro (Pvt) Ltd.

Although 40,000 acres are required for the project, the Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Major General (Retd) Sumedha Perera, has only approved the allocation of 5,000 acres as a pilot project.
 
The letter issued by the Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture states:

"You have identified a productive avenue pertaining to the cultivation of maize that can actively contribute to the rehabilitation of prisoners at a time when the government has imposed restrictions on the import of maize.

Due to the import restrictions, there is a shortfall of 200,000 metric tons of maize per annum. It has been brought to our notice that your company has the capacity to cultivate about 40,000 acres out of an area of about 80,000 acres needed to cover this shortfall.

Accordingly, you have established 'Avant Agro (Pvt) Ltd.' to initiate a pilot project to start the cultivation of 5000 acres of maize. 

Therefore, I recommend that this project be implemented as it will have a number of other social and economic benefits in addition to the foreign exchange savings and its contribution to the prisoner rehabilitation process."
 

Avengard letter