(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – The Ministry of Agriculture says Sri Lanka is self-sufficient in peanuts now and no longer need to import peanuts since an alternative variety to the type of peanuts required for the processing of jumbo peanuts, has been introduced.
The quality of peanuts in Sri Lanka is higher than imported peanuts. Therefore, there is no need to import groundnuts because of Sri Lanka jumbo groundnuts, said the Minister of Agriculture, Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation Mahinda Amaraweera.
Participating in the Sri Lanka jumbo groundnut harvesting program at Middeniya Thorakolaya Government Seed Farm, Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera said the local ‘Jumbo peanut’ variety is currently becoming very popular in Sri Lanka.
The Department of Agriculture, which introduced this variety, says it is high-yielding and can provide 29 percent of the daily protein requirement.
Currently, due to the rising prices of meat and fish, it is difficult for the people to get the amount of animal protein they need. But due to the high protein content of peanuts, that deficiency can be met, the Department of Agriculture emphasizes.
“Peanut, which is grown as a food crop, has been grown beyond the national requirement of our country. The annual requirement of peanuts in our country is 30,000 metric tons. But by now the amount of harvest from groundnut cultivation has exceeded 64,000 MT,” the Minister said.
He added that due to the new variety of peanuts called Lanka Jumbo introduced by the Department of Agriculture, it has been possible to suspend even the stocks imported from abroad for the production of Jumbo Peanuts.
“At present, the variety produced in our country is used for the production of jumbo peanuts. Therefore, we have been able to save a lot of money which was attracted to foreign countries so far.”
The Minister advised the officials of the Department of Agriculture to take measures to promote related products by using the extra yield of groundnuts.
In particular, steps can be taken to start a peanut oil and peanut butter production program that is good for the body, and to expand the cultivation of peanuts, Minister Amaraweera pointed out.
“Therefore, we no longer need to import peanuts. We have doubled the crop of groundnuts.”
The Minister also said that he has instructed the Department of Agriculture to prepare a work order for value added products related to the peanuts.