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Minister of Agriculture and Plantation Industries, Mahinda Amaraweera, has announced that the Government of China's Hainan Province has given its approval to establish a state-of-the-art rice processing center in the Hambantota district of the southern province. Notably, no such facility has been established by either the public or private sector in this region thus far. The designated rice processing center will predominantly be situated in the villages of Angunakopalassa Jandura and Guruwala, functioning under a cooperative system with active participation from the unemployed youth community.

During an official visit to the Hainan province of China two weeks ago, the minister formally presented a request to the Chinese government, resulting in a positive response. This was disclosed by the minister while allocating additional financial provisions and equipment on January 6, 2024, for the mushroom production village located in the Guruwala and Jandura villages.

Presently, over 200 families are engaged in successful mushroom cultivation within this village, generating substantial daily income through the sale of their produce.

On January 6th, 2024, the minister distributed equipment and financial allocations worth 10 million rupees to support and enhance the endeavors of mushroom producers.

In addition, the minister emphasized the prevailing monopoly in the country's rice production, controlled by a few rice mill owners who dictate the prices. To address this issue, the government is planning to establish several high-tech rice mills across the country. Acknowledging the need for collaboration, the minister highlighted the preparation of a cooperative work arrangement for the first rice processing center, involving the youth of Jandura and Guruwala.

This initiative marks the introduction of a modern rice mill in the Hambantota district, equipped with cutting-edge components not currently available in the region. The minister expressed optimism that, following discussions with the Chinese government, positive responses have been received, indicating progress in the project.

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In view of increasing the national tea production and earning a tea export revenue of US$ 2 billion, the inauguration of the direct tea plantation project initiated by the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Tea Small Holdings Development Authority, was conducted in Elpitiya, Galle under the patronage of Hon. (Dr.) Ramesh Pathirana, Minister of Plantation Industries. This project was introduced to 6 tea cultivating districts to coincide with this event.

Commenting on this, the Minister stated that the Plantation sector provided the maximum contribution to the national export income in the years 2021 and 2022 with US$ 890 million from coconut, US$ 1 billion from Rubber, US$ 420 million from Cinnamon and US$ 1.23 billion from Tea. The Minister also stated that this direct tea plantation project has been implemented with the intention of generating US$ 2 billion by tea export in future. He further mentioned that there are around 400,000 small tea estate holders island-wide, subsidy provided for tea cultivation would remain unchanged and that it would be possible to further reduce the price of fertilizer in the future.

This event was graced by Hon. Geetha Kumarasinghe, State Minister of Women and Child Affairs, Mr. Janaka Dharmakeerthi, Secretary, Ministry of Plantation Industries, Mr, Chinthaka Lokuhetti, Chairman, Tea Research Institute, Chairman, Small Tea Estate Association, Chairman, Pradeshiya Sabha, Elpitiya and many more including Small Tea Estate holders.




Hon. (Dr.) Ramesh Pathirana, Minister of Plantation Industries attended the special celebration event for International Tea Day on 21st May at the Headquarters of Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome, Italy representing Sri Lanka.

Agents representing all tea manufacturing countries gathered there at this Summit headed by Dr. QU Dongyu, Director General of FAO. The major attention of this summit was brought toward the small-scale tea estate holders and the potential of helping them to face the challenges was discussed. The Minister addressed the Summit by making the attendees aware of the contribution of small-scale tea estate holders in tea manufacturing process in Sri Lanka, stabilizing their economy, the plantation labourers’ community rendering a greater service for the tea industry and how to act for uplifting their socio-economic livelihood.

To coincide with this event, there was a tea-oriented exhibition at Atrium in the HQ of FAO with participation of the United Nations Women’s Guild (UNWG) and a tea tasting event was also organized. Its main objective was to make the viewers aware of the major tasks carried out by the said Division for small-scale tea estate holders and rural livelihood and, its contribution for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This celebration remarked the deep cultural heritage of tea as an ancient symbol of good life standards and a dialogue was initiated in the society at global level through a tea culture regarding the women’s contribution via tea value chain with the involvement of UNWG.




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The Sri Lanka Festival – 2023 was conducted recently with festive mood at Kamagaya Stadium, Japan under the patronage of Mr. Rodney Perera, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Japan and Mrs. Shivotha Hiromi, Mayor of Kamagaya. The Japan-Sri Lanka Association organized this event in view of promoting Sri Lanka as a tourist destination and also the Sri Lankan Goods and services among Japanese nationals.

A large number of Japanese and Sri Lankans gathered to witness this event filled with Sri Lankan dancing and music and a greater enthusiasm was observed among Japanese nationals in purchasing Sri Lankan food items and other Sri Lankan products. Especially, it was apparent that there was a huge demand among Japanese for Sri Lankan King Coconut, and this will be a good news to the entrepreneurs engaged in export process of King Coconut in Sri Lanka.

This event was successful for the guidance of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Japan and the contribution of Sri Lankan community including the Sri Lankan Businessmen’s Association and Vehicle Importers’ Association. This event was graced by many Japanese and Sri Lankans including Mr. Saman Priyankara, Chairman of the Japanese-Sri Lankan Association.


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The Tea factory in Gomara Estate, Kandy owned by Sri Lanka State Plantations Corporation under the Ministry of Plantation Industries which was refurbished with modern technology at an investment of Rupees 17 million, was opened by Dr. Ramesh Pathirana, Minister of Plantation Industries with the participation of Hon. Lohan Ratwatte, State Minister of Plantations.

Commenting on this, the Minister stated that “Sri Lanka State Plantations Corporation has gained a net profit of around LKR 42 Rupees by last year and that this tea factory started in the Gomara estate would help once again to promote the objectives of tea cultivation and standard tea manufacturing in future”

Further commenting the Minister mentioned that the Ministry of Plantation Industries takes action to give the maximum support to achieve the aim of converting the premises of 600 acres back into an active tea cultivation land and that the new initiatives taken through Sri Lanka State Plantations Corporation to promote “direct tea cultivation” already commenced by the Ministry marks a better motivation for tea plantation.

This occasion was graced by Ministerial Officials including Mr. Janaka Dharmakeerthi, Secretary, Ministry of Plantation Industries, Mr. Srimal Wijesekare, Chairman, Sri Lanka State Plantations Corporation and its officials, Chairman, Janatha Estates Development Board and its officials, elite personalities related to plantation sector and the villagers.

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The One Stop Business Centre of the Coconut Development Authority was opened at Duke Street, Colombo recently by Hon. (Dr.) Ramesh Pathirana, Minister of Plantation Industries along with Hon. Lohan Ratwatte, State Minister of Plantation Industries.
Commenting on this, the Minister of Plantation Industries indicated that the coconut-related industrial export income had been expected to exceed One billion Dollars by 2025-2026. It was further stated that the Ministry of Plantation Industries has taken some important decisions during the past three years for the development of the coconut industry, that the Coconut tree which had not been included in the Felling of Trees Act was included in the said Act, and that, some requests were permitted through the Fragmentation Board for fragmentation of lands only on essential reasons.

Further commenting, the Minister mentioned that despite the decrease in placing orders during the final quarter of last year along with the global market conditions, the coconut-related exporters have achieved an aim of beyond US$ 800 million and that, by now, compared to tea, demand on coconut related products especially coconut flour, milk, water, and king coconut has gradually increased. It was also mentioned that at this moment it would be possible to have a positive look over the coconut industry, that we would be able to gain an export income of Dollar one billion in the near future which would then be expected to double and that, the Ministry has been dedicated to making necessary arrangement to promote coconut cultivation in all provinces island-wide.

It is expected to facilitate a total group of more than 3000 including 2000 registered and involved in the coconut industry that generated an annual export income of US$ 820 million and those who are willing to join this field, through one single place. For this, a 24*7 Customer Care Centre, Call Centre, Media Unit, IT Unit, Marketing Intelligence Unit, and many more Sections are operated through this new Centre.
This occasion was graced by Mr. Janaka Dharmakeerthi, Secretary, Ministry of Plantation Industries, Mr. Chaminda Pathiraja, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Industries, Prof. Roshan Perera, Chairman, Coconut Development Authority and some elites including entrepreneurs in the coconut export field.



The first spices-related official website in Sri Lanka was launched recently and the occasion was graced by Hon. (Dr.) Ramesh Pathirana, Minister of Plantation Industries. This website has been designed in order for the Spices and Allied Products Marketing Board under the Ministry of Plantation Industries to bring forward the qualitative products of small and medium-scale spices manufacturers to local and foreign markets.

Commenting on this, Hon. (Dr.) Ramesh Pathirana stated that “it is a pleasure to see the launching of this website as the first step to export the local small and medium scale manufacturers spices to the foreign markets within a short span of 1 ½ years after the opening of the Spices and Allied Products Marketing Board and that, it is also appreciated the measures taken as a Government Institute to provide opportunities for the small and medium scale manufacturers while earning profits at an occasion where certain government institutes are wound up due to losses at present.

The Minister further mentioned that there has been a larger market for spices in countries such as China and that, our entry into such markets would be important for local small and medium spices manufacturers as well as cultivators.

This website has information on local spices in Sri Lanka as well as those on the 24 outlets operated by the Spices and Allied Products Marketing Board. Further, this enables to have the spices related products delivered to any location in Sri Lanka through online methods and the Department of Posts provides such spice-related products to customers expeditiously. In future, the Spices and Allied Products Marketing Board has planned to offer the foreign customers to purchase spices related products through online method.

This occasion was graced by Mr. Janaka Dharmakeerthi, Secretary, Ministry of Plantation Industries, Mrs. Kumuduni Gunasekare, Chairman, Spices and Allied Products Marketing Board, Mr. Mahesh Gunarathne, Chief Executive Director, Spices and Allied Products Marketing Board and Dr. Saranga Alahapperuma, Chairman, Sri Lanka Industrial Development Board and many others.