Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena pointed out the need of a dynamic plan to increase the agricultural exports, while endorsing quantitative and qualitative standards of the agricultural crops.
Addressing the 45th Annual Session of the International Pepper Community held in Kandy, today (30), the President said many programs were included in the National Food Production Programme as well as in the Gramashakthi People’s Movement launched by the government to develop the local agricultural industry, including the pepper industry.
President Sirisena said that in taking the country forward once again to the golden era of Agricultural economy, the pepper industry is an important sector and the Government is taking steps to strengthen the pepper farmers and develop the industry.
He added that although pepper prices decreased recently, the government took measures to provide the necessary reliefs to the Pepper farmers.
During the year 2015, Sri Lanka exported around 16,660 Metric tons of Pepper compared to the 8,031 MT in 2014, showing a substantial increase of 107%. When compared to the average export of 9,519 MT during the last ten years, export in 2015 was the highest.
The 45th Annual Session of the International Pepper Community (IPC) is being held from 30th October to 2nd November 2017 in Kandy. Around 100 representatives from member countries are participating in this event.
President Sirisena also viewed a Pepper/Spice Exhibition organized in conjunction with the 45th Annual Session of the IPC. The President presented certificates and awards to students who won the Island wide competitions and also presented awards for the Best Pepper Farmer, Best Farmer in preparing a seed bed, Best Exporter as well as for the Best Value-Added Manufacturer.
Minister Daya Gamage, the Chief Minister of the Central Province Sarath Ekanayake, the Chairman of the International Pepper Community Bandula Wickramarachchi, Executive Director of the International Pepper Community Hoang Thi Lien, Sri Lanka Representative at the IPC Dr. Ashoka Senevirathne and many others participated on this occasion.