Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 27 February 2011





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Sugar production to be increased 40% by 2020

The Government plans to increase domestic sugar production by 40 percent by 2020 to reduce cost of imports which was around $248 mln in 2009. The sugar recovery rate and the average cane yield will also be increased to 20 and 40 percent through use of improved varieties, better management practices and modern technology.

The new land extent under sugar cane cultivation will be increased by 30,000 ha with irrigation water arrangements in Kantale and Hingurana. Continuous efforts will be made to revitalise the sugar industry by refurbishment and modernisation of existing factories and the addition of new factories.

Sugar contributes nearly 10 percent to the calorie intake of the population in Sri Lanka. Sugar production in Sri Lanka is 56,000 MT which is 10 percent of the country’s requirement and annual consumption is around 550,000 MT. Around 500,000 MT of sugar is imported annually.

Local sugar production commenced in the 1950s initially by the Government and later with the participation of the private sector for reduction of importation. Four factories were commissioned in stages up to 1996 for this purpose.

However, the goals were never achieved and production was below expectations. Later, objectives were reviewed and it is now expected that around 40 percent of the national requirement by the year 2020 will be produced.

The high cost of establishing new factories and the limited availability of suitable land for sugarcane cultivation is a hindrance to the expansion of the sector. Development of the domestic sugar industry would pave the way for the generation of employment and save of foreign exchange.

Whilst analysing the rate of growth in the production of sugar, the present trend of per capita consumption and the annual population growth, it is evident that Sri Lanka would continue to be a market for sugar producing countries.

Sugar is one of the main food items in Sri Lanka with per capita consumption of 40kg which is in the high range among world consumption.

Sugarcane is cultivated largely in Kantale, Hingurana, Pelwatte, Moneragala and Sevanagala areas.

Sugar production in the world spreads across 100 countries. 78 percent is produced out of sugarcane which is primarily grown in tropical and sub tropical regions of the southern hemisphere. The rest is produced out of beet grown in temperature zones of the northern hemisphere.

The cost of producing sugar from sugarcane is lower than using beet. Around 68 percent of the production is consumed by the country of origin.

The International Sugar Organisation (ISO) predicted a sugar surplus of 11.1 million MT for 2007/08 and a future growth of 2.4 per cent.

Brazil which cultivates over 10mn hectares is the world’s top sugar producer and exporter and aims to increase the cultivation to 14mn hectares by 2020.Sugarcane is cultivated in the central/south regions of Brazil.




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