Basil visits pilot sea cucumber cultivation project in Navanthurai

Wednesday, 5 October 2011 02:33 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa made an inspection visit to a sea cucumber cultivation pilot project in Navanthurai yesterday.

The project was implemented by the Project for Development Planning for the Rapid Promotion of Reconstruction and Development in Jaffna District to generate extra income for costal people in Jaffna.

Sea cucumbers fetch good market prices in the global market, especially in China and Singapore, being a valuable source of income for coastal communities all over the world.  Across Asia, they have long been a staple in people’s diets, mainly in soups, stews and stir-fries.

They are highly nutritious and described as ‘an ideal tonic food’ as they provide more protein and less fat than most foods. Today, sea cucumber is a multimillion dollar industry. In the United States, the price of dried sea cucumber is pegged at US$ 180 to US$ 250 per kilogram. The Philippines is home to 100 species of sea cucumbers, of which 31 are commercially important.

Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka Kunio Takahashi, Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Douglas Devananda, Minister of Coconut Development and Janatha Estate Development Jagath Pushpakumara, Governor of the Northern Province G.A. Chandrasiri and officials from  JICA also participated at this occasion.