ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s key plantation crops – rubber, coconut, and cinnamon – are expected to earn an export revenue of around $2.3 billion this year, Plantation Minister Ramesh Pathirana, said.
Despite an economic and fertilizer crisis, the island nation, best known for its cinnamon and tea, earned $900 million from rubber exports after seeing a record export earning of $1.1 billion in 2021 due to higher demand for rubber-related products during Covid pandemic.
The island nation is in search of new markets to expand its exports as one of the measures to address the current sovereign debt default. The island nation is yet to start repayments for its external debts that were defaulted in April last year.
“Sri Lanka is considered to be the hub among the main tyre producing countries. It is believed that the export of rubber-related products will be able to reach between $900 million and $1 billion this year,” he told reporters at a media briefing in Colombo on Monday.
Sri Lanka has planned to boost the export revenue from rubber to an ambitious $3 billion annually from 2025.
Coconut related products, which have seen a growth of 15-20 percent in the last two years alone, had earned $836 million in export earrings last year. Minister Pathirana expected a similar export earnings for this year as well.
“Within the next five years, there is a high probability of increasing the export income of coconut-related products to 1.5-2 billion dollars.”
He also said around $400 million is expected to be earned this year by the export of cinnamon and other spices.
“The government is prepared to offer the assistance required to expand the plantation industry’s value chains. It will step in as an intermediary to provide technological know-how and financial resources,” said Pathirana. (Colombo/July 27/2023)