ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Department of Agriculture has found that two varieties of pomegranates can be successfully grown in the island to give a high yield, which will be released to farmers within two months.
The two varieties had been successfully grown by researchers in the areas of Norochcholai and Weerawila, a statement said.
After eight months, a tree will give a yield of 10 to 15 kilograms. A tree has a lifespan of about 35 years.
The findings were released by agronomists to Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera on September 15.
The pomegranate will be released to farmers after approval from the Agriculture Department’s Varieties Releasing Committee.
Sri Lanka now imports pomegranate from countries like India.
The fruit is also popular among cancer patients and the country spends about 9,000 million rupees worth of ‘foreign exchange’ imports, the statement said.
Taking into consideration domestic needs, local cultivation will help save ‘large volumes of foreign exchange that is now going abroad”, Minister Amaraweera was quoted as saying in the statement.
Domestic cultivation will help save foreign exchange, the statement said.
Sri Lanka has chronic foreign exchange shortages due to an inflationist central bank which prints money to mis-target rates with open market operations, stumbling from one ‘impossible trinity’ monetary regime to another, critics say.
Sri Lanka therefore comes up with various schemes to ‘save foreign exchange’ instead of bringing legal restrictions on the independence of the agency to mistarget rates by printing money.
Sri Lanka is now recovering from the worst currency crisis created by the central bank in its history in the deployment of ‘macroeconomic policy’ to target an output gap or try to boost growth with easy money. (Colombo/Sept19/2023)