Mr. Bandula Wickramarachchi, Secretary of
the Primary Industries Ministry of Sri Lanka
He further added that in the next five years, earning from the crop is targeted to touch US$ 400-500 million US$. According to Mr. Bandula, Sri Lanka has set up a number of work plans such as value chain; transferring the pepper industry from livelihood into agribusiness; improve the productivity of the crop; product diversification and value addition, traceability, etc. to achieve the export target set by his Ministry.
During the meeting, Mr. Bandula also stated that during 2015, export earnings of pepper was around US$140 million and out of the total exports, 60% were shipped to India. In 2015 exports of pepper from Sri Lanka was around 15,000 Mt and in 2016 the volume declined. In 2017, Sri Lanka is estimated to export around 18,000 Mt of pepper. The country projected in the next 5 years exports of pepper from Sri Lanka will be doubled from the current level.
Mr. Bandula also informed that market diversification, scheme to improve the pepper productivity, farmers clustering, production of good and healthy planting materials for distribution to pepper farmers, establishment the organic village; upgrade the processing machineries at farms level are among the programmes being undertaken by the government to support the pepper producers to develop the pepper industry in Sri Lanka.
In Sri Lanka pepper is mainly grown and produced in the Provinces of Central, North Western, Sabaragamuwa, Uva, Western and Southern. In 2016, Sri Lanka is estimated to produce 19,150 Mt of pepper, which is much lower by around 32% or 9,000 Mt when compared to the country‘«÷s output in 2015 which was at 28,170 Mt. The low production was mainly due to unfavorable weather condition. In addition to pepper Sri Lanka also produces other spices for exports such as Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg and Vanilla etc.
Sri Lanka will be hosting the 45th Annual Session and Meetings of the International Pepper Community at Earl‘«÷s Regency Kandy from 30th Oct - 2nd November 2017 organized jointly by the Ministry of Primary Industries, Department of Export of Agriculture and the IPC Secretariat. Registration is now open and can be done online from www.ipcnet.org/session45lk