Cabinet backs mega $ 783 m aloe vera based herbal products export venture

Wednesday, 1 September 2021 02:33 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Approves grant of 66 acres of crown land in Anuradhapura on 30-year lease
  • Project promoter Aura Lanka Herbals to make $ 300 m capital investment 
  • Founded in 2001 by indigenous medical doctor Dr. Viranjith Thambugala, Group has interests in mineral resources, automotive and mobility, medicine industry, security service, and urban development

The Cabinet of Ministers this week gave its backing for a mega $ 783 million venture in Anuradhapura to grow aloe vera for export of derived herbal products.

Based on a proposal presented by Minister of Finance Basil Rajapaksa and the Minister of Lands S.M. Chandrasena, the Cabinet approved the handover of 66 acres of crown land to the venture promoter Aura Lanka Herbals Ltd. on a 30-year lease. 

The approval follows Aura Lanka Herbal Ltd. submitting a proposal under the ‘Dry Zone Rural Economic Development Aloe Vera Project’ to start an herbal medicine manufacturing industry. The organic farming project is expected to use aloe vera roots, tubers, gel and external parts of the leaves to make high-energy drinks, pills, ointments, inhalers and hair oils. 

As per the statement from the Government Information Department, of the $ 783 million, the company plans to spend $ 300 million as capital investment.

It is expected to set up nurseries for the production of aloe vera seedlings in 2,000 acres in Rajanganaya and Nochchiyagama Divisional Secretariat Divisions and 102,000 acres in the Anuradhapura District will be used for the cultivation of aloe vera using the plants produced by those nurseries under the said project. It is proposed to involve families who own land on grants and licenses and families who enjoy government lands for cultivation to the project.

According to the company’s website, Aura Lanka Herbals was established in 2001 by Dr. Viranjith Thambugala, a Sri Lankan indigenous medical doctor, who is also the Managing Director and CEO. 

Aura Lanka identifies itself as a global integrated business enterprise with nine business groups that operate across mineral resources, automotive and mobility, medicine industry, security service, and urban development.

One of the subsidiaries, Aum Jeewa, is based in USA and is the marketing arm for products of Aura Lanka Herbals in the USA and Europe.

The Group also says it a leading private helicopter charter service provider in Sri Lanka with a fleet of Airbus helicopters, and operates an Airbus-approved service facility and a hangar in Ratmalana.