RTI 1 : Department of Export Agriculture - volunteers to automate the DEA

Posted: 2 years ago

Author: achala

buildlk member achala arunalu wrote to department of export agriculture using the right to information act. He requested information pertaining value addition, information on website and also volunteered to help the DEA automate.

RTI - Introduction

I wrote the following RTI to the Department of Export Agriculture on 12 of July, 2021 via email. 

The request was sent to the information officer identified via the RTI website of the government. 


- The Directors called me and we met two days later. The outcome was that I agreed to help them develop their web based information systems free of charge. The work has not yet officially begun but we are communicating over a whatsapp group. I belive they are a capable leadership, one that is most necessary to implement information systems at organizations. Change champions will pave the way to buildLK, and we are lucky there are some at the DEA. Hoping for the best. 

Positive notes

The DEA has made clear efforts to update their website with relevant information for their stake holders. The state agencies incharge of ICT seems not have had any positive support mechanisms in place to empower departments like the DEA who are providing regulatory and oversight to a major income source of our country, exports of agricultural produce such as tea, spices and dried fruits among many others. ICTA has had powerful budgets and people in charge it for nearly two decades (ICTA was established under the Information and Communication Technology Act, No. 27 of 2003 and strengthened by the ICT Amendment Act No. 33 of 2008 ) and we hope the ICTA would support this initiative. 

We must help these places of important economic activities to help them see their full potential. 

Email sent is given below for your reference

Dear Sir,

I would like to request some information as per rights I am afforded per Article 14a of our constitution whereby we can get access to important information about our nation. 
A. Could you please let me know if the website technical reports have the latest agricultural technology, process information as I noted some have been developed in 2012, 2015 etc.  (Ie: http://www.dea.gov.lk/technicalbooks/Ginger_Sn.pdf (2015), http://www.dea.gov.lk/technicalbooks/Vanilla.pdf (2007))
B. If they are not updated when do you hope to update these important publications? I believe without going for printed copies, even updating digital copies is enough. 
C. I noticed that the annual reports, annual accomplishments are not reported annually, when do you hope to have the updated ones for the last 3 years at least hosted online? 
D. Is there any ongoing work to improve value added exports of agricultural produce such as spices or vegetables? 
E. Is there a one stop center for gaining knowledge on FDA requirements in major export markets and quarantine requirements so that people can get this information within a few hours rather than weeks of research? 
F. Is there a way for industrial spice and other produce processing technology to be quickly learnt of by investors you are aware of or are party to in developing and providing with other institutes? I.e. creation of value added Vanilla products such as essences or fragrances.

I noticed updated planting and fertilizer information in some segments which has been done very well: http://www.dea.gov.lk/downloads/. And the DEA mobile app is a great initiative. 
Note: Kindly provide any official letters, reports, minutes to base your answer to the above inquiries as support documents. 
As a further support, I would be glad to offer my knowledge and support in publication and ICT technology should you require. I am also a software consultant with nearly a decade of expertise in govt, private and industrial ICT. I would like to offer my service Freely as I want to see the agriculture sector flourish. 
Thank you

Outcome of the meeting from my facebook 

මෙසතියේ සඳුදා උදේ email RTI එකක් දැම්මා අපනයන කෘශිකර්ම දෙපාර්තමෙන්තුවට. ප්‍රශ්න අදින්න නෙවෙ, විසදුම් දෙන්න පුලුවන් වෙයිද කියලත් බලන්න.
එදාම ඔවුන් කතා කරල අද අපි මීටිමක් තිබ්බ, බදාදා (14). අධ්‍යක්ෂ - සංවර්ධන ලින්දර මහතා, සහකාර අද්‍යක්ෂක වරුන් වන අරුන රනවක සහ අරුන දිසානායක සහ ඔවුන්ගේ තොරතුරු තාක්ශන නිලධාරි ගයාත් එක්ක පැයක් පමණ ඔවුන්ගේ IT අවශ්‍යතා ගැන කතා කර නැවත ඔවුන්ට අවශ්‍ය පද්ධති නිර්මානය කරන්න හම්බවෙන්න තීරනය කරා. ඔවුන් ඉතා හොඳ දැක්මක් ඇති අය බව මට හිතුනා.

department of export agriculture - rti