Two betel varieties, named Narammali and Naramrathi and an arecanut variety called Matale Sinha were introduced at a function, chaired by minister Daya Gamage, at Dampelessa Betel Research Institute in Narammala yesterday.
A Narammali leaf is 25 cm in bredth and 19 mm in width, and weighs 8 grammes.
Its expected price is Rs. 4.00 per leaf. Naramrathi, with 26 cm in bredth and 17 cm in length, weighs around 8 grammes. Both can fetch a harvest of more than one million leaves per 1,000-stake cultivation.
Cinnamon producers will be given further training in order to increase demand for their produce in the international market, says primary industries minister Daya Gamage.
Also, exporters will be given a quality certificate with government intervention to secure them a better place in the export market, he says.
The minister was speaking today at a discussion at the Galle district office of the Export Agriculture Department at Labuduwa.
Value addition can earn a better income for export crops, he noted.
The minister said that his objective was to ensure a maximum value addition in order for producers to earn maximum returns.
Primary industries minister Daya Gamage says the production of coconut oil will be increased with the intention of exporting the surplus produce.
At present, between 20,000 and 40,000 mt of vegetable oil is imported as an alternative, because the local coconut oil production is inadequate.
The minister was speaking at the launch of a distribution of 100,000 coconut plants at Dambadeniya in Mahaoya, also attended by deputy minister Dr. Anoma Gamage.