In our work on agricultural supply chains, we looked at how small holders could participate in export value chains because these were the most difficult cases and also where the money was. At least at the beginning of the adoption process, the greatest demand for ICT based innovation is likely to come from these supply chains.
Air freight services are a necessary condition for most high-value agricultural exports. In this article on what the full liberalization of Sri Lanka’s Mattala Airport, I discuss the complementarity.
For the most part, air freight services are produced jointly along with air passenger services. There exists a complementarity between tourism and high-value agricultural exports, which depend on rapid transportation, preferably via direct routes, to end markets. This requires air transportation in the holds of regularly and frequently scheduled passenger aircraft rather than in cargo aircraft.
Unless tourism focused on the South East develops, volumes of passenger traffic to Mattala are unlikely to increase. Unless the volumes increase, more frequent flight schedules to the markets for high-value agriculture exports cannot be justified. Unless frequencies can be improved, the requirements of high-value agriculture exports will not be satisfied. Luckily, the Gulf and the other West Asian countries are good markets for high-value agricultural exports. So there is a possibility that this kind of air freight services will succeed in tandem with a West Asia focused passenger strategy of the type discussed above.