Sri Lanka spices hit by bad weather

Aug 19, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan spice exporters and producers said this year’s production and exports have been affected by bad weather on which the crops are dependent. Karthik Ramachandran, chairman of the Spices & Allied Products Producers™ & Traders™ Association (SAPPTA) said demand for the island’s spices was growing rapidly.

“SAPPTA is trying to increase production and encourage stake holders to raise value addition in spice exports so we can earn more,” he told a news conference.

The association was set up 25 years ago to represent the interests of the spice trade’s different players – from producers and processors to traders and exports – and to serve as a lobby group especially with government policymakers.

“The recession has not affected spices as badly as expected,” Ramachandran said. “Last year we had phenomenal growth until the recession hit.

“This year production is down not because of recession but agricultural production has ben affected by bad weather.”

The island suffered a severe drought in the first quarter of 2009 and has also had bouts of unseasonal rain that affects crop cycles.

Ramachandran said that although the