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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2761

‘Sri Lanka pulse imports rising fast’-Rishad at Global Confab

Colombo, 27 May, (Asiantribune.com):

As Sri Lankan’s hunger for pulses and lentils continues to grow, the country now annually imports pulses exceeding $70 Mn and even at 100Mn-and the bulk of it being the well-known staple ‘red lentils’, revealed Sri Lanka’s Industry and Commerce Minister on 20 May.

“Pulses and grains were introduced to Sri Lanka historically and today pulses have become a staple in Sri Lankan households as a result. Their imports rising fast.” said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen on 20 May at Sheraton Cesme Hotel, Izmir, Turkey.

• GPC2016 concludes in Turkey’s Cesme-Izmir
• Says the bulk of pulse imports is red lentils
• ‘Lentils now a Lankan household staple’-Rishad
• Pulses a $100 Bn global industry
• ‘Consumption increasing 20% annually’-Rishad
• Says lentils mostly coming from Australia, Canada

Minister Bathiudeen was addressing the Global Pulse Convention 2016 (GPC16) held in Cesme, Izmir, Turkey from 19 – 22 May. GPC is the world’s leading annual pulses and grains confab and is organised by the Global Pulse Confederation (GPC). Y2016 has been declared as the International Year of Pulses. According to the organisers GPC, this annual event has become a prime networking platform for $100 Bn global pulse production, marketing & processing industries. Minister Bathiudeen was addressing the global pulse experts during the 20 May’s session of GPC16.

“Pulses and grains were introduced to Sri Lanka historically and today pulses have become a staple in Sri Lankan households as a result. Their imports rising fast. 3.5% of Sri Lanka’s monthly household food and beverages expenditure is allocated for various pulses. We import lentils of all types to the value of US $ 70 million – 100 Mn annually. 65% of expenditure on pulse imports is for red lentils which has become a staple almost similar to our main staple food which is rice. Australia, Canada have become important suppliers of red lentils to Sri Lanka. Lentil imports now claim more than 7% of our annual food & beverages imports. The trend is a continuously increasing volume of lentil imports year on year!” said Minister Bathiudeen.

Minister added: “As for red-lentils on average Sri Lanka imports US $ 6.3 Mn of “whole red lentils” per month which is $75 Mn annually. After importing these are refined and released the local market. In 2008-2013 period Sri Lanka’s red lentil consumption has grown by an estimated 20% from its early volumes. These growth trends show that Sri Lanka’s hunger for pulses and grains is growing. As for Turkey-Sri Lanka relations, Official diplomatic ties go back to 1948 but when it comes to trading relations, our relations go back even further. In 2013 Sri Lanka was honoured to be the first ever Asian Partner country at Turkey’s Izmir international trade Fair series. Personally, I too was honoured to lead the 45 member strong Lankan delegation and address this 82nd event of this series held in Izmir in August 2013. The unity government of Sri Lanka led by HE the President Maithripala Sirisena and Hon Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is preparing to take Sri Lankan economy into the upper range of the middle income ranks through the social market economy model. I am pleased to say that Sri Lanka’s Trade with Turkey has been increasing over the last few years. In 2014 we witnessed the highest bilateral trade between the two countries at $311 million. In 2015 total trade was at $230 million.”

According to organisers of the event GPC, the federation’s membership includes 18 national federations and over 600 private sector members “in an industry worth over $100 Billion at the retail level and over 60 million tonnes in pulse production and distribution in over 55 countries.”

- Asian Tribune -

Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen (seated third from right) awaits to deliver his address at the Global Pulse Convention 2016 in Sheraton-Cesme, Izmir, Turkey on 20 May.
Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen (centre) felicitated by officials of the Global Pulse Confederation (GPC) at Hotel Sheraton-Cesme, Izmir, Turkey on 20 May.
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