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Marketing Board planned to boost spice exports


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 Primary Industries and Social Empowerment Minister Daya Gamage addressing the media (right) others from left: Spices & Allied Products Producers’ & Traders’ Association (SAPPTA) Vice Chairman) Chamika Naranapitiya, Export Agriculture Department Director General Dr. A.P.Heenkenda, Spices & Allied Products Producers’ & Traders’ Association (SAPPTA) Founder Chairman Gulam Chatoor

 

  • Minister says Rs. 1.4 b requested from Govt. to establish new board after 11 years
  • WB loan of $ 195 m to develop primary industries
  • Five universities to conduct research to boost cinnamon exports
  • 5,000 export villages and 33 fish and agro processing zones to be established  

By Divya Thotawatte

After more than a decade the Primary Industries Ministry is planning to re-establish a marketing board for spices and has requested an allocation of Rs. 1.4 billion from the Government to boost spice exports from 5,000 export villages to be established in the next few years, a top official said recently.  

Delivering a speech last week at the launch ceremony of the Global Spice Road Symposium, Primary Industries and Social Empowerment Minister Daya Gamage said he had requested Rs. 1.4 billion from the Government for 2019 in order to re-establish the Spices and Aligned Products Marketing Board, which was closed down in 2008.  

He added that he would implement a program to develop the spice sector of the country along with the support of the stakeholders of the sector. He also outlined plans of obtaining a World Bank loan of $195 million to assist to the development of primary industries. 

“We’re involved in expediting the modernisation of the export agriculture sector. We have already introduced and easy to scheme agro business in the SME sector to invest in commercial agriculture value chain. This will promote partnership between private sector and small holder producers and provide new technology to enhance productivity and product diversification,” he said.

Gamage also stated that for the development of the spice sector, a new program has been initiated with Peradeniya, Sri Jayewardenepura, Kelaniya, Colombo and Ruhuna Universities. The five universities will be conducting necessary research for the improvement of the cinnamon industry in the country.

“I have given Rs. 146 million to these universities for research activities and they have already produced very impressive results. Based on these results we can now tell the world that we’re the real and the best producers of cinnamon with highest medicinal value for diabetes, heart diseases, and cancer,” he noted.

He also added that the Ministry aimed to invest Rs. 21 million between 2017 and 2021 with the objective of establishing over 2,000 industry units to improve production.  According to him, the ministry has launched an island wide program for the establishment of 5,000 export production villages in 300 Divisional Secretariats in an effort to furnish the necessary raw material for prospective entrepreneurs who are expected to be accommodated in 33 agro and fish processing zones. “We wish to work with the World Bank to obtain $ 195 million for the program,” the Minister stated.

The Global Spice Road Symposium 2019, organised by Chelcey Consulting Ltd. and OSL, The Investment Magazine is to be held from 10-13 July at the BMICH with the aim of expanding Sri Lanka’s spice industry globally.

Pic by Upul Abayasekara

 


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