Sri Lanka’s Kelani Valley expands to cinnamon as tea loses shine
ECONOMYNEXT – Kelani Valley Plantations, a unit of Sri Lanka’s Hayleys group said it is expanding into cinnamon cultivation as tea and rubber prices fall.
Kelani Valley Chairman Mohan Pandithage told shareholders that the firm had invested 43 million rupees to grow cinnamon in 58 hectares out of which 33 was in Kitulgala.
Kelani Valley was until the mid-1990 state-owned and the sector was a burden to the ordinary people with their taxes being used to pay salaries, until it was privatized.
Along with other privatized planations it started paying lease rentals and taxes to the Treasury.
Pandithage said the company was developing Oliphant Bungalow in Nuwara Eliya into a plantation boutique hotel.
Hayleys Global Beverages (Pvt) Ltd, which will make value added teas for export is expected to start operations in 2016. Pandithage said Mabroc Teas (Pvt) Ltd, a branded tea marketer also made a profit.
The firm was also perusing direct exports of rubber.
Global commodity prices are falling as the US Federal Reserve tightened monetary policy sending the dollar up and pushing down prices of oil, gold, metals and food commodities.
Countries like Russia, which depend on oil exports, also printed money and saw their currencies collapse.
Countries like Saudi Arabia and UAE which do not follow active monetary policy but mimic US interest rates, have maintained their strongly pegged exchange rates.
(COLOMBO, May 27 2016)