Sri Lanka to expand spice growing areas

Aug 10, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is planning to expand spice cultivation to new areas which will increase production and export especially of pepper and cinnamon, an official said. Vajira Narampanawa, secretary of Sri Lanka’s minor export crop promotion ministry said following initial trials, pilot projects were planned in several areas which were not previously known for spice growing.

Cinnamon and pepper is to be piloted in Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa in north central Sri Lanka and Amapara and Batticaloa in the east.

Narampanawa said areas with similar agro climatic conditions were being used in Vietnam to grow pepper.

He said under a new sector development plan the contribution of spices to the economy was expected to be boosted to 5.0 percent by 2020 from 0.4 percent now.

Sri Lanka’s most famous export at one time, cinnamon initially grew in the wild.

The Portuguese and later the Dutch also collected most of it from areas under Sinhalese king with his permission, which led to conflicts at times.

In 1770 the principle Dutch collector in Colombo, De Koke under Dutch Governor Wilehm Falk received permission to cultivate cinnamon first, near his villa