‘No licences to import crops grown in SL’

The Agriculture Ministry has decided not to issue licences for the importation of certain crops that can be grown in the country next year.

During a meeting held with cereal importers at the ministry recently, Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera informed the importers that he would not allow them to import food crops such as maize, undu, soya, green gram, sesame, finger millet, and groundnuts that could be easily cultivated in the country.

The minister invited them to assist farmers to cultivate these food crops in the country and he also pledged to provide lands if it is necessary.

Sri Lanka is still importing those crops from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, and around 40,000 MT of groundnut, 164,000 MT of maize, 8000 MT of undu was imported to the country last year, at a cost of Rs.8,336 million.

The government annually spends Rs. 118 billion for the importation of lentils, undu, green gram, chickpea, dry chilies, sugar, potatoes, big onion, coriander, ginger, turmeric, and plums, the majority of which can be produced locally. 

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