Fruit, vegetable exports see marked increase
NCE targets Rs 10 b revenue by 2020:
Vegetable and fruit exports have recorded an eight percent growth
compared to last year during the first five months in this year.
National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE) president Sarath de
Silva said Lanka’s vegetable and fruit industry has been earning Rs
3,000 million annually. The National Chamber of Exporters targets a
revenue of Rs 10 billion by 2020. In 2010, there is eight percent growth
in vegetable and fruit industry when compared to last year.
Sarath de Silva
Sri Lanka has been exporting vegetables and fruits for nearly 20
years. All these exports in vegetables and fruits have to be branded to
gain more economic advantages and branding is considered as the main
marketing plan of the Chamber.
There is a growing demand for quality Sri Lankan vegetables and
fruits from Jordan, Oman, Lebanon, Bahrain, Maldives and Saudi Arabia.
Sri Lankan fruits in demand are pineapple, passion fruit, red lady
papaya fresh and dehydrated form, dragon fruit, Rambuttan and avocado.
Non tariff barriers, quarantine barriers, unfavourable weather
conditions are considered as the main problems faced by vegetables and
fruits exporters in the country.
Government assistance is needed to increase revenues in the vegetable
and fruit industry in the country. Prices of vegetables and fruits will
come down if the fertilizer subsidy can be extended to vegetables and
fruits cultivators. Apart from that, more people will be getting into
production in the near future if these subsidiaries are introduced by
the Government, Sarath de Silva said.
He said one third of lands in the country have not been cultivated
for the last 30 years due to terrorism. Agricultural lands in the North
and East are still fertile as farmers in these areas have not used
chemicals to grow vegetables and fruits. This will help to grow organic
vegetables in these areas in coming years, he said.
The National Agribusiness Council is scheduled to hold an exhibition
in Trincomalee shortly to encourage people to grow new crops without
growing non-traditional crops in liberated areas.
India, Australia, Brazil, South Africa and Thailand are considered as
the main competitors in the vegetable and fruit industry in the world.