Turmeric shortage: Confiscated stocks to the market

By Sarah Hannan

The consignments of turmeric confiscated over the past few months are to be released to the market through Lanka Sathosa and co-operative stores, the State Ministry of Development of Sugarcane, Maize, Cashew, Pepper, Cinnamon, Cloves, Betel Production, and Promotion of Allied Products and Export stated.

“A total of 1,068,314 kg of turmeric stocks were smuggled into the country over the past few months and due to import restrictions, the country is faced with a shortage. In order to fulfil the market demand, we decided to release these confiscated stocks to the people, until such time we are able to import turmeric from December onwards,” State Subject Minister Janaka Wakkumbura noted.

Wakkumbura pointed out that Sri Lanka’s annual turmeric requirement stands at 7,500 metric tonnes (MT), while the country only has a capacity to produce 1,200 MT per year as local produce.

He also noted that the turmeric crop grown in the country is due to be yielded in January, and there will be no turmeric shortage in the country after January.

A supply chain process is to be set up to gradually release the turmeric harvest from January onwards into the market through Lanka Sathosa and co-operative stores.

A programme will be launched to plant 100,000 turmeric saplings in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Army to obtain turmeric seeds and to repurpose cashew nut cultivation lands in the Puttalam District to cultivate turmeric as an under cultivation.