Rs. 300 m invested in Raigam rice noodles facility
The Kingdom of Raigam will complete the construction of its Rs. 1 b
saltern in Kuchaveli next year, Raigam Group Chairman Dr. Ravi Liyanage
said at the launch of its rice noodles Devani Batha on Wednesday. He
said that around 60 percent of the work on the project has been
completed and added that the saltern will be commissioned as scheduled
Dr Ravi Liyanage
Work on the 1,800-acre saltern in the East commenced in 2011 to
provide jobs to over 1,500 people in the area. “Constructing a saltern
is a cumbersome process. The inclement weather during the past two
months hindered work on the project,” Dr. Liyanage said.
Sri Lanka yet imports a substantial quantity of salt a year draining
out foreign exchange from the country. Raigam re-awakened the salt
industry in Sri Lanka by setting up salterns in Hambantota and Puttalam
which helped reduce the import of salt to around 7,000 mt in 2011.
The country's annual requirement of salt is around 50,000 mt.
“We are confident that Sri Lanka will be able to export salt in the
near future,” Dr. Liyanage said.
Raigam launched the manufacture of rice noodles at its plant in
Homagama with an investment of Rs. 300 m to change the consumption
pattern in Sri Lanka. The state-of-the-art factory has a capacity to
manufacture 5,000 mt of noodles a year and double the capacity next
Devani Batha was introduced to the market in three flavours white,
rose and red kekulu flour. Sri Lanka's current rice production is about
4.8 million mt a year and the industry sustains around 880,000 farmer
Dr. Liyanage said that by consuming rice-based products the country
could save a staggering amount of foreign exchange on import of wheat
flour each year. By consuming rice-flour noodles instead of wheat-flour
noodles the country could save around Rs. 925 million a year on import
of wheat flour.
“Sri Lanka takes pride in being self-sufficient in rice but the irony
is that it still imports a large quantity of wheat flour spending a
colossal sum each year. Promoting the consumption of rice and rice-based
products should take place at grass-roots level,” Dr. Liyanage said.
Sri Lanka spend around 20 percent of its foreign exchange on import
of food. Milk powder, sugar, canned fish and dry fish is yet imported in