Basil opens International Pepper Conference

Wednesday, 31 October 2012 00:11 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Economic Development participated as chief guest at inauguration ceremony of 40th international pepper community conference held at Mount Lavinia yesterday.

The International Pepper Community (IPC), established under the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for the Asia Pacific (UN-ESCAP), consists of several countries including Brazil, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, the major pepper producers of the world who are also permanent members of the conference.

The 40th International Pepper Conference will be held from 30 October to 2 November 2012, in collaboration with the Sri Lankan Ministry of Minor Export Crop Promotion.

Sri Lanka produced 26,500 tons of pepper last year and earned US$ 30.7 million as pepper export revenue. Pepper is cultivated over an area of 32,800 hectares in the island with Matale, Kandy, Kegalle, Kurunegala and Nuwara Eliya being major districts of cultivation.

Reginald Cooray, Minister for Minor Export Crop Promotion, Vajira Narampanawa, S. Kannan, Executive Director of the International Pepper Community, W.D.L. Gunaratne, the Director General of the Department of Export Agriculture and other senior government officers were among the large crowd of foreign participants at the occasion.

Pix by Chaminda Hittatiya