Fruit and vegetable sector:
Rs. 10b export income by 2010
The fruit and vegetable sector is confident of earning an export
income of Rs. 10 bln by 2010 as all policies and infrastructure
facilities are in place to increase cultivation, said IFCO Chairman and
Director EDB Sarath De Silva.
He said that the fruit and vegetable sector is better than what it
was earlier and this is due to the hard work we did for the past five
years and we are now in an absolute export drive.
De Silva who flew to India on January 7 will be joined by
International Trade and Export Development Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris
who is on a export promotion tour in Bangladesh, and they are scheduled
to meet the Indian authorities to discuss the removal of quarantine
This, he said will help to make the FTA signed with India more
We are in an absolute export drive and the best market for us is
India with a population of over 1.3 bln and more than 40% of the
population being upper middle class. Most importantly more than 80% of
the population are vegetarians.
De Silva said that the economic crisis has not affected India and I
do not believe that it will affect India in the future.
At present Sri Lanka exports strawberries and woodapples while the
Indian authorities have not approved any vegetable exports from Sri
Lanka at present.
We have applied to the Indian authorities to get the quarantine forms
for 21 products and are confident that it will be approved.
Sri Lankan farmers have started growing Asparagus and artichok as
well as a few special varieties of mushrooms for which the technology is
In addition we have requested the farmers in the Eastern province to
grow fruits, vegetables and edible oil seeds under the Eastern
The Api Wawamu Rata Nagamu program initiated by the government to
make the country self-sufficient in food has boosted fruit and vegetable
cultivation in the country.