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Spice industry benefits from tourism

Demand for fresh herbs and spices increase:

The country’s spice industry could benefit from the expected influx of tourists as its products could be made use to promote health tourism. Spices and Allied Product Producers’ Association Chairman Christopher Fernando told Daily News Business.

The spice and derivatives market is booming because their products find applications in pharmaceutical, ayurvadic medicine, beverages and hygiene products.

Countries in the Asian region are the major producers of a variety of spices and Sri Lanka could position as a leading ayurvedic medicinal supplier both locally and internationally, Fernando said.

“The spice industry has been witnessing phenomenon growth rates both in the international and domestic markets. This is mainly due to the change in the lifestyle pattern of consumers all over the world,” he said.


Increased demand for Lankan spices

There has been a substantial increase in use of fresh herbs and spices due to an increased demand in the hotel industry. The change of consumers towards leading a healthy lifestyle has increased the use of herbs and natural spices for natural flavouring.

The use of spice derivatives like essential oils are being widely used internationally in food and beverage industries for flavouring and fragrances. This market provides a good opportunity for Sri Lanka.

The global demand of spices has increased due to an increase in demand and consumption of ethnic food, a sharp growth in the processed food consumption and an increase in the demand for natural fragrances for various health therapies.

“Our endeavour is to regain the lost leadership in the Asian region in supplying spices. We can achieve major export status by exporting cinnamon as we are the only true cinnamon producer in the world. Not only cinnamon but also other varieties of spices are significant contributors to the global spice trade as cinnamon, Fernanedo said.

A new strategy to increase productivity should be in place supported by increase in the export volumes. The quality of local products is of high standard and the country needs to maintain this level, he said. The growers, producers, traders and exporters of spices need to have an integrated action plan to increase foreign exchange. The spice industry could be a vibrant industry in coming years with the proper implementation of policies to support its growth.

The continuous demand for Sri Lankan spices in the global market needs to be sustained with vigorous application of different dimensions to support value addition. Measures to obtain geographical indication for cinnamon is an encouragement for growers and we could concentrate more on producing increased volumes. However, the Government needs to take action to arrest pilferages of agricultural products, he said.

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