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Sri Lanka: Produce export to decline in 2013Sri Lanka's fruit and vegetable export earnings are expected to be restrained by current economic conditions to around 3-5%. In addition to the challenging marketplace can be added fluctuation in exchange rates and export produce shortfalls.
According to the Chairman of the Fruit and Vegetable Producers, Processors and Exporters Association (FVPPEA), S. Gnanaskandan, the sector achieved a 10.5% Year-on-Year growth during 2010 and 2011.
“The sector recorded export earnings of US $ 36 million in 2011 and US $ 22 million in the first 6 months of 2012. However, I do not think we can repeat the same performance this year,” Gnanaskandan said.
Aside from the tough trading conditions, production was also a challenge at times this year. The first half of the year was especially tough as a result of unpredictable weather patterns and vegetable production was down 18%.
Smoothing over this to an extent though, was a rise in fruit exports by 12%, as compared to 2011.
The association is calling for a coordinated development strategy for fresh produce exports.
“This requires the implementation of a suitable macro-economic policy and maintenance of a predictable investment climate, facilitating foreign direct investment to the country which in turn would benefit the agricultural sector”, Gnanaskandan said.
The Association further believes the country's currency to be overvalued and urged the need for facilitating export financing at internationally competitive rates in order to remain competitive among regional competitors such as India, Dubai and Thailand.
Publication date: 12/3/2012
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