Sri Lanka primary exports may exceed US$1.5bn target easily: Minister
Oct 09, 2018 14:19 PM GMT+0530 | 0 Comment(s)
ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka may easily exceed a 2025 target of 1.5 billion dollar exports in spices, fruits and vegetables and fisheries with primary agriculture exports growing 40 percent last year, a minister said.
Primary Industries Minister Daya Gamage said a number of initiatives have been started by the ministry, including the construction of 23 agro processing zones, 10 mega fisheries zones, and entrepreneurship support for primary industries.
Gamage said earlier that primary agricultural exports grew 39 percent to 454 million US dollars in 2017, from 326 million dollars in 2016.
"This has resulted in primary exports growing at a rate of 40 percent per annum since 2016," Gamage told a Regional Policy Forum of the Asia Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association held in Colombo.
"With this momentum we will be able to generate 5.0 billion dollars by 2025 which is three times higher than the target assigned to the ministry."
The government had given him a target of 1.5 billion US dollars by 2025, he said.
A memorandum of understanding has been signed with Kasetsart University in Thailand, which has developed most of the seeds for agriculture in Thailand.
"I have been working with them," Gamage said.
The government is also helping potential entrepreneurs gain access to finances, he said.
The new programs are bearing fruit, he said.
According to Central Bank data seafood exports were 240.6 million dollars in 2017 up 41.9 percent and vegetable exports were 28.5 million dollars, growing 7.5 percent.
Fruit exports were in the minor agriculture products category, and the central bank said fruit exports in 2017 grew 19.6 percent from a year earlier.
Processed agricultural products come under industrial exports. (Colombo/Oct10/2018)