CREATING MARKETING OUTLETS – True taste of Sri Lanka - Helabojun Hala

BFN Sri Lanka has facilitated the opening of food outlets selling diverse traditional local foods. “HelaBojun; True Sri Lankan Taste” market outlets are also being run by women farmers trained in nutrition, healthy recipe production, food safety and business skills by the Women Farmers Extension Program of the Department of Agriculture, a national BFN partner. These outlets play a vital role in successfully marketing diverse local foods, empowering women, and reviving interest in traditional food culture.

In line with Sri Lanka’s new governmental commitment to support sustainable agriculture and the marketing of traditional agrobiodiversity, these market outlets aim to:
  • Generate agriculture-based employment and improve private enterprise
  • Provide sustainable and stable family income to increase well being
  • Create awareness and interest among new generations about the value of traditional foods and recipes which are gradually disappearing
  • Minimize the influence of fast food culture to reduce health problems
  • Use locally-grown rice, coconut, finger millet, cassava, sweet potato, green gram, black gram, jackfruit, vegetables, leafy vegetables and a range of local fruits to reduce foreign imports while creating a demand for local produce
  • Promote healthy food without flavoring enhancers, artificial coloring, preservatives

Best Practices

The 9th “HelaBojun” traditional food outlet and market outlet for local agro biodiversity was opened on the 16th May 2015 by the Department of Agriculture in collaboration with Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture with financial aid from the Biodiversity for Food & Nutrition Project commemorating the International Day for Biological Diversity.

The food/market outlet was opened under the patronage of Hon. President Mr. Maithripala Sirisena and other government officials, and BFN Sri Lanka delivered presentations on the importance of biodiversity for improving nutrition and the progress the BFN project has made so far. The expanding value chain now has 17 Hela bojun market outlets across the island and successfully promoting and selling traditional food biodiversity and reviving interest in Sri Lanka’s traditional food culture.