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Government suspends gazette allowing import of spices for re-export

March 12, Colombo (LNW): The Ministry of Agriculture has announced the suspension of a recent gazette notification permitting the importation of various spices, including pepper, for re-export.

Initially, the government had issued a gazette notification allowing the importation of locally grown spices such as pepper, nutmeg, mace (Vasavasi), turmeric, ginger, and cardamom for subsequent re-export.

Following deliberations during yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Agriculture and Plantation Industries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera voiced his reservations regarding the aforementioned gazette notification.

Permitting the importation of these spices for re-exportation would adversely impact local spice farmers, potentially leading to the decline of domestic spice cultivation, the Minister emphasised.

Furthermore, he underscored concerns about the potential deterioration in the quality of Sri Lankan spices, which currently hold a premier position globally.

Considering these factors, the Cabinet decided to suspend the relevant gazette notification, thereby halting the importation of spices intended for re-export.

Minister Amaraweera further highlighted the Cabinet’s commitment to conducting comprehensive studies aimed at preserving the quality of local spices and enhancing the government’s role in promoting the cultivation of indigenous spices as vital plantation crops.

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