High spice prices seen luring Sri Lankan plantations firms

ECONOMYNEXT – High prices for spices should make it more attractive for Sri Lankan plantations companies to take up spice cultivation, diversifying from the main crops of tea, rubber and coconut, an industry official said.

M C M Zarook of the Spices and Allied Products Producers and Traders Association (SAPPTA), said 15 of Sri Lanka’s regional plantations companies are now cultivating spices.

“They have plenty of land for spice cultivation. The only problem is investment,” he said.

Zarook said it had been difficult for the chief executive and managements of the plantations companies to convince investors to invest in spices because of fluctuating commodity prices.

“The prices of the main spices all exceed 1,000 rupees a kilo,” Zarook, outgoing chairman of SAPPTA told the association’s annual general meeting. “So it is an attraction for plantations companies to come into it.”

Exports earnings from spices had gone up in 2014 although volumes shipped had not increased because prices had risen, he said.

“There were good prices for our prices like cinnamon, cloves, pepper, cardamon, nutmeg and mace.”

All spices and allied products produced in Sri Lanka are exported and none go waste, Zarrook said.

“Whatever produced is used for exports to bring in foreign exchange.”  (Colombo/August 24 2015)

 

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