28th September 2009, www.dailynews.lk
Sri Lanka's cinnamon has a big demand in the international market but there is a danger of losing this valuable market as a result of poor output levels of cinnamon cultivation, Managing Director, G.P. De Silva and Sons International (Pvt) Ltd, G. Lal De Silva told Daily News Business.
Although the export volume of cinnamon is larger this year compared to last year the profit margins are very low due to the shortage of supply. "Sri Lanka is the only country which exports high quality cinnamon but unless we protect the industry by taking measures to cultivate cinnamon sufficiently the country will lose a huge amount of foreign exchange", De Silva said.
A product known as Cassia in Indonesia, similar to cinnamon will replace our cinnamon in the future in the event of Sri Lanka failing to meet the demand. However, a metric ton of Cassia costs only USD 1,000 whereas a MT of cinnamon costs USD 8000, he said.
De Silva said that cinnamon growers must be educated and motivated on the benefits they can gain by receiving a good harvest because they are not aware of the importance of growing a valuable export item.
Therefore, they do not prune the plants on time and maintain them with proper fertilizing and as a result the harvest drops.