Sri Lanka’s rubber, coconut, cinnamon export earnings to set new record with US$ 4 billion
Daily FT: Export earnings from rubber, coconut and cinnamon are on the verge of exceeding US$ 4 billion, creating history by recording the highest annual income generated from these crops in a year, Plantation Industries Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said.
“This year has been a golden year of the plantation industry, despite certain obstacles,” he said at an event organised to recognise the officials who have completed 25 years of service in the Tea Small Holdings Development Authority (TSHDA).
Dr. Pathirana also said that the Plantation Ministry was committed to make the tea industry a profitable industry in 2022.
He said despite not being able to reach the target export earnings, tea crop was estimated to be 305 million kg in 2021.
“We will ensure maximum assistance to industry stakeholders to reach better yields and export earnings next year,” he said, adding that the Government had now given the approval to import fertiliser necessary for agriculture.
“We will receive sufficient quantities of fertiliser by February. With the rise in global market fertiliser prices, it has adversely impacted us too. However, we hope things will ease out by the first quarter of next year,” Dr. Pathirana said.
He outlined that the tea industry was a key export crop which contributed significantly to the national economy.
“If we want to build up the economy, then we must strengthen the planters. The COVID pandemic and fertiliser problems have caused some setbacks in the industry. But, amidst all these problems, we are working to strengthen the smallholders who contribute to the national economy. We have allocated Rs. 4,000 billion from Budget 2022 for this purpose. We hope to utilise these funds to develop new methods to increase tea production,” the Minister added.
Dr. Pathirana also said that it was time to go beyond traditional cultivation, pointing out that only then would Sri Lanka be able to build a better plantation industry.
“This year, the plantation and agriculture industries faced a severe crisis. This year has been a year of tea replanting. We will also provide plants and compost free-of-charge to encourage more tea growers in the country. A large number of people have already asked for tea plants. It is our responsibility to provide them with the necessary technical know-how and high yielding tea plants,” he added.
Sri Lanka has been recording a steady growth in exporting agriculture commodities, especially tea, rubber, coconut and spices. There has been a steady growth even amidst the Covid pandemic. The government of Sri Lanka has also initiated several programmes to uplift and develop the local export agriculture industry. The attractive incentives could help expand businesses in the industry while the many trade agreements as well as concessions enjoyed by the country help source these commodities in the export markets. Foreign businesses/investors could therefore explore the growing business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s export agriculture industry and also look at forming partnerships or joint ventures with local businesses.
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