Home / Agriculture/ Rising production causes betel exports to drop

Rising production causes betel exports to drop

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Wednesday, 10 July 2019 00:00



  • As demand from Pakistan reduces, Minister proposes diversifying crops 
  • Says not the right time to focus on cannabis exports

By Ashwin Hemmathagama 

– Our Lobby Correspondent

High yield and the increased numbers of farmers starting to grow betel leaves have reduced the demand for Sri Lankan betel leaves in Pakistan, Minister of Primary Industries and Social Empowerment Daya Gamage told Parliament yesterday, highlighting the importance of diversifying the export crops.

The betel leaf exports, which stood at Rs. 576.1 million in 2010 has gone up gradually over the years to Rs. 3,164.1 million in 2017. According to Minister Gamage, the 52-day constitutional crisis had an adverse impact on betel leaf exports. If there was no political instability, Sri Lanka could have earned more than Rs. 2,615.72 million in betel exports in 2018, he said. 

The Minister, commenting on the reduced market demand for betel leaves after the number of farmers grew by 25,000, said: “Pakistan is the only export market for our betel leaves. It is said that a new tax has been enforced over betel leaves from Sri Lanka. We will be able to remove this. However, we are unable to promote betel leaves in Sri Lanka due to health reasons.”

“The price is determined by market forces. We need to provide an additional income to those who rely 100% on betel leaf income by introducing other crops. We are currently exporting jujubes and mosquito coils for a start. Cannabis is a medicinal drug cultivated in Canada, the US and Thailand. But this is not the right moment to start growing cannabis in Sri Lanka,” he explained. 

Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

A child’s guide to MCC Compact Sri Lanka

Monday, 18 November 2019

Intelligent children, unlike some of the adults, are curious, probing and questioning. They do not jump to conclusions until and unless they are convinced of facts that have been presented to them. Asani, a student in the Advanced Level class in a le

Re-thinking voting

Saturday, 16 November 2019

We use our vote (in a democracy) to elect those who should govern us. We can only be governed as long as we are alive. Therefore, our current age and life expectancy determine how long we have left to be governed! So, should the younger population, h

Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony: A nation rich in unity

Friday, 15 November 2019

This series is based on business leader Dhammika Perera’s recently revealed ‘Economic Growth Strategy and Action Plan to increase GDP Per Capita from $ 4,000 to $ 12,000’. The document outlines goals and action plans for 23 ministries and to

Securing a People’s Constitution

Friday, 15 November 2019

The need for making a People’s Constitution has become a topic of interest not only among the public but also among some candidates of the Presidential Election. Rohan Pallewatte and Mahesh Senanayake have included it in their election manifestos.

Columnists More