“The Ministry of Industry and Commerce, under which the Sri Lanka Export Development Board functions, has set an ambitious national export target of $ 20 billion by 2020 and we are now looking to further diversify of our exports basket,” Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen, welcoming the latest addition to Sri Lanka’s exports basket.
“Interestingly, our GDP growth can continue to increase further not only with north and east production, but even new, innovative streams of agro production too. The yellow maize produced in Sri Lanka is one such item holding new promise,” he added.
Increasing demand for maize in the world market coupled with the strong human consumption in Africa has resulted in rising global maize prices and as a result, maize has become a major export crop for countries such as Uganda during the last few years. As for Sri Lanka, the forthcoming export achievement is a result of the continuous agro sector assistance provided by the Government to the farmers during the last six years.
Previously Sri Lanka was producing only 15% of its maize, almost all of which were yellow maize, needs within the country with the rest (85%) was met with imports from abroad. The latest initiative is set to directly benefit the maize farmers in Anuradhapura District.
Minister Bathiudeen added: “I am given to understand that Wayamba Traders Company is exporting the first-ever Sri Lankan maize shipment of 10,000 metric tons to Taiwan and Canada, which I believe will be a successful step towards our agro sector export diversification efforts.”
Wayamba Traders Co. Managing Director Shahul Hameed Sadikeen said: “The destinations of the later shipments will widen to the Gulf countries in addition to the current Taiwan and Canadian markets. By the end of this year we target export volume of 50,000 metric tons.”
Bathiudeen added: “As we enter the new development era along with an economic upswing thanks to the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the untiring efforts of Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, we witness the new agro production volumes from north and eastern regions too being added to the strong GDP growth, thereby driving our exports further.”
Wayamba Traders was established in 1993 as a sole trader proprietorship specializing in imports, exports and local merchandise of agro-commodities such as sesame seeds, black pepper, desiccated coconut, nutmeg, cinnamon, garcinia, soya beans, maize and other agricultural products.
It is also styles itself as the largest exporter of Sri Lankan sesame seeds and currently provide Sri Lankan origin natural sesame seeds to foreign markets across Asia and Europe.
It is renowned for the ability to cater to buyers at the best market price while maintaining the highest standards of quality in products. It also takes pride in being a large supplier of commodities to the UN initiated child health program in Sri Lanka.