Aug 14, 2017

Betel prices decline drastically Featured

The price of a basket of export-quality betel has declined drastically to around Rs. 1,000 from between Rs. 15,000 and Rs. 18,000 previously.

As a result, the local betel producers are in a complete collapse, although the country’s produce has a good demand in the world market.

Sri Lanka currently supplies five per cent of the global demand.

The production of betel, including that of the mature export-quality, has come down steeply.

The prevailing drought too, is having an adverse impact.

Ceiling price demanded

Cultivators blame agriculture and land ministries for failing to do their duty by them.

The country exported 1,934 kilos, 3,024 kilos and 2,998 kilos in 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively, but the figure declined to 2,404 kilos and 1,956 kilos in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

Betel cultivators say a minimum ceiling price should be declared if their livelihood is to be safeguarded.