Sri Lanka’s traditional exports - tea, rubber and coconut - still have a great demand in the international market and those who are involved in these three industries should be encouraged to increase the expected export target, Plantation Industries Minister Navin Dissanayake said.
Minister Dissanayake made these remarks at the inauguration of the three-day international Coconut, Rubber and Tea (CRT) exhibition and trade fair held at BMICH from August 11-13.
President Maithripala Sirisena opened the exhibition. A large number of locals and foreigners involved in these three industries were present.
The objective of holding the international exhibition was to facilitate local and international personnel involved in these three industries to meet and share knowledge and views and to learn about latest technology of each industry’s operations.
Minister Dissanayake said that Sri Lankan tea, coconut and rubber should be positioned internationally as leading commodities despite some obstacles faced by cultivators and others involved in these industries.
The Minister also highlighted the production of high quality teas, especially the value added tea and said there is a great demand in China for our value added tea.
He said in addition, there is a good market for our rubber and coconut in China and our tea, rubber and coconut exports could be expanded after the signing of the Free Trade Agreement between Sri Lanka and China shortly.
The Minister also focused attention towards the coconut industry and said the prevailing drought conditions have become an obstacle to the industry and steps will be taken to revamp the industry to win the international market.
The Minister appealed to local participants who made their representation at the exhibition to take the message to their villages since the cultivators of these products are living in villages.
Speaking on rubber cultivation, the Minister said steps have already been taken to develop rubber lands by using latest technology to expand production.
He mentioned the encouragement extended by both the President and Prime Minister to develop these three industries and improve the income of cultivators.
President Sirisena and Minister Dissanayake visited several stalls at the exhibition and trade fair.
When Minister Dissanayake visited tea stalls, a leading tea exporter and the Tea Director of Euro Asia Company (Pvt) Ltd, Vajira Rajapaksa welcomed the Minister and explained the development of the tea industry. He said there is great demand for tea in countries such as China, Russia, Ukraine, USA as well as in several Middle Eastern and European countries.
Sources : dailynews