Colombo, Feb 19 – Sri Lanka’s lucrative spice industry is targeting a revenue of US 500 million dollars in 2019 following its entry into new global markets as well as increasing exports of pepper, cloves, and nutmeg, local media reported Tuesday.
To achieve this target, the spice industry aims to export Sri Lanka’s popular cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg, and cloves, to new markets such as Russia, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan this year, former Spice Council Chairman, Nanda Kohona told the local Daily FT, on the sidelines of the launching ceremony of the Global Spice Road Symposium.
According to Sri Lanka’s Central Bank, spices earned 330.3 million dollars in the first 11 months of 2018 but this was a 11.6 percent drop when compared to the same period in 2017.
In November alone, spice earnings dropped to 27.7 million dollars from 33.7 million dollars, which is a reduction
of 17.7 percent from 2017.
“Most of our cinnamon is exported to Mexico and South American countries, and a fair percentage goes to the European Union. We’re looking at new markets like Russia, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan, which are coming up now and looking for spices from Sri Lanka. The demand is not only for cinnamon but pepper, cloves and nutmeg as well,” Kohona said.
Cinnamon is the highest income earner for Sri Lanka’s spice sector followed by pepper.
Sri Lanka producers about 17,000 metric tons of cinnamon and 35,000 metric tons of pepper per year.
The spice industry expects production to recover on better weather conditions this year.