Sunday, December 3, 2023

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Agriculture Ministry Greenlights Strawberry Cultivation for Export Expansion

In a pivotal move, the Agriculture Ministry of Sri Lanka sanctioned a groundbreaking initiative proposed by local investors to cultivate strawberries for export purposes. The approval was granted during a discussion held at the Agriculture Ministry, with key participation from Agriculture and Plantation Industries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera and Minister of Transport and Mass Media Dr. Bandula Gunawardhana.

The discussion highlighted the global demand for strawberries, which stands as an untapped opportunity for Sri Lanka. While the country currently ranks 57th among strawberry-exporting nations, the domestic production, often lacking modern technology, hasn’t met international standards. However, the fruit’s popularity and the rising market demand offer a promising avenue for export.

As a first step, the Agriculture Ministry agreed to allocate one hectare of land in Nuwara Eliya for a pilot project. Based on its success, the project could potentially expand to encompass up to ten hectares for strawberry cultivation.

Utilizing cutting-edge technology, the project anticipates significant economic gains. With an estimated income projection of US$117,600 per hectare annually and a potential yield of 120,000 kilograms from the same area, the initiative presents an enticing prospect. The investment required for cultivating one hectare is approximately Rs. 250 million.

Minister Amaraweera emphasized the forthcoming year’s focus on agricultural enhancement. Acknowledging the President’s contribution through the new budget, he underscored the government’s commitment to revolutionizing agriculture by integrating advanced technology.

Janaka Dharmakirthi, Ministry Secretary, was also present during the discussions, signifying the collaborative effort toward this progressive venture.

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