By: Staff Writer
Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka’s enterprising farmers have embraced the challenge of growing strawberries in the tropical climate of the island nation with the aim of entering into foreign export markets. Agriculture ministry revealed.
Since there is a high demand for strawberries in the world market, the Agriculture Ministry has approved a project to grow strawberries for export.
The average strawberry export price stood at US$8,638 per ton in 2022, surging by 1.8% against the previous year.
The export value of Sri Lanka strawberries was US$ 510.73K, and the export volume was 49.50 metric ton in 2022
The approval for this project was granted by Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera after a proposal was presented by a group of local investors for the implementation of the project as soon as possible.
To adapt to the warmth of Sri Lanka, farmers typically opt for strawberry varieties known for their heat tolerance.
Varieties such as “Chandler” and “Sweet Charlie” have become popular choices due to their ability to withstand higher temperatures.
“There is still a minimal demand for strawberries grown in our country since they are not cultivated using modern technology.
Sri Lanka is ranked 57th among strawberry-exporting countries. Strawberry has a rapidly increasing annual market and as a soft fruit it is extremely popular,” Minister Amaraweeera said.
During the meeting at the Ministry, it was agreed to provide one hectare of land in Nuwara Eliya belonging to the Ministry, as a pilot project under the first phase.
Depending on the success of this project, up to 10 hectares can be given for strawberry cultivation if needed, the Minister assured.
If strawberries are cultivated with the use of new technology, it is possible to earn an income of around USD 117,600 per year from one hectare.
It is also possible to get a yield of 120,000 kg from a single hectare. Also, the amount invested to cultivate one hectare is Rs. 250 million, the investors have pointed out.
Strawberry cultivation in Sri Lanka may seem like a formidable challenge due to the tropical climate, but enterprising farmers have shown that it’s possible with the right location, strawberry varieties, and cultivation practices.
The red delight of strawberries can indeed flourish amidst the lush greenery of the island nation.
As these efforts continue to bear fruit, the unique story of strawberry cultivation in Sri Lanka adds a fresh, vibrant chapter to the country’s agricultural landscape, offering a glimpse into the resilience and innovation of its farming community.