Making SL self sufficient in Sugar | Daily News


 

Making SL self sufficient in Sugar

Finance Minister  Ravi Karunanayake

 

Having targeted to make Sri Lanka self-sufficient in sugar manufacture, plans are afoot to increase sugarcane cultivation and set up of 15 new manufacturing plants in the country. The project will be implemented under two stages. A long term project will be implemented under the first stage while a middle term project will be introduced under the second stage. Under the first stage project, the country expects to manufacture 50% of its sugar requirement locally by 2020. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said the Cabinet has already approved the new sugar manufacture development project.

Recommendations for the proposal were made by a Cabinet Sub-committee chaired by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake.

There are four sugar factories engaged in the industry and they annually manufacture 56,000 metric tons of sugar. Compared to the country’s annual sugar consumption - 700,000 metric tons - the local production is only 8%.

The Sugar industry was incepted as a public enterprise in 1950 but the local production was not improved sufficiently due to the deterioration of sugarcane cultivation and low efficiency of factory performance.

In this backdrop, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake presented a policy framework to develop the local sugar industry and it has been approved by the government. Accordingly, the second project under the long term basis will be implemented with the participation of the private sector to make the country self-sufficient in sugar by 2025.

There are currently several sugar factories engaged in manufacturing and they are coming under the purview of different ministries. In addition to the current 26,000 hectares owned by the prevailing four sugar manufacturing factories, another 31,000 hectares of land should be cultivated to become self-sufficient in sugar by 2020. It has been calculated that a total number of 102,000 hectares should be cultivated sugarcane anew in order to make the country self-sufficient in sugar. The Cabinet Sub-committee chaired by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake has studied this proposal in depth and made recommendations for the project. Other members of this Cabinet Sub-committee are: Ministers Rishard Badi Udin, Daya Gamage, Rauff Hakeem, P. Harison, Vijith Vijithamuni, Ranjith Maddumabandara and kabeer Hashim.

104,000 hectares of cultivable land have already been identified in the districts of Moneragala, Batticaloa, Kilinochchi, Anuradhapura, Trincomalee, Ampara, Badulla and Polonnaruwa. The same Cabinet Sub-committee has also recommended setting up of 15 new factories to manufacture sugar and other byproducts. 

 


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