Agriculture is most vital source of employment for majority of the Sri Lankan workforce. In the continuation sector, rice is main crop and farming rice is the most significant economic activity for the bulk of the people living in rural areas. Growing in the area under cultivation and improved the productivity owing to modernization of agriculture is the key reasons for enhance in production. The rehabilitation of country’s extensive ancient irrigation network and huge new investment in the construction & maintenance of irrigation infrastructure led to a large enhancement in the area under the rice cultivation. Modernization of farming methods for instance the use of high-yielding seeds, tractors, and chemical fertilizers also led to enhanced productivity in the rice sector. In addition to rice, a variety of other food crops are also produced for domestic consumption. They include yams, grains, pulses, and fruits & vegetables. Most of these crops are cultivated in the family gardens, except for sugar and potatoes. Sugar-cane is cultivated in dry zone.
According to study, “Sri Lanka Agriculture Market Trends, Statistics, Growth, and Forecasts” the government of Sri Lanka has promoted the agricultural production by implementing technically sound, environment friendly, economically viable and social acceptable programs to promote the sustainable agricultural development with effective & efficient use of resources.
Based on selected sectors in agriculture, market is segmented as aquaculture, fruits, spices, and vegetables. Aquaculture includes octopus, shrimp, bivalves, cuwle fish and sea cucumber & urchins. Fruits include banana, guava, mango, plantains, pineapple, jackfruits, soursop and passion fruit. Spices include pepper, ginger, clove, cardamom, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and others. In addition, vegetable include cassava, gherkins, bell-pepper, tomatoes and cucumber.
Leading plantation crops of rubber, tea, and coconuts continue to figure notably in the economy of Sri Lanka country. Tea is the major crop of plantation sector that grows in many parts of the wet zone. Sri Lanka is famous for high quality black tea, and is the largest supplier country in the world. Second major crop is rubber, which grows in the ridge & valley country of the wet zone interior. China is traditionally the key buyer of Sri Lankan rubber. Performance of this sector has been subject to unsteadiness owing to unfavorable movements in global prices. Competition from the synthetic rubber producers has caused rubber costs to drop. Additionally, third major crop is coconuts, which is grown mainly in the hinterland of the western seaboard. Coconut (primarily coconut milk) is a main ingredient used in food preparation in country, and approximately 65 percent of the output is consumed locally. Apart from this, the livestock sector in country is small that consists of dairy and poultry subsections. Unlike in the US, where dairy production takes place on big farms, in Sri Lanka dairy farming is a tiny-scale domestic activity. An important development in the livestock sector is the rapid increase in the poultry production.
Sri Lanka exports a lot of agricultural products as inputs by promoting the private sector investment to improve the infrastructure facilities those are required for marketing the agricultural products. It is expected that future of the Sri Lanka agriculture market will be bright as a result of increase in product branding/certifications, increase in encouraging the farmers and rise in awareness of young people about farming during the forecast period.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications