Present status of Sri Lankan vegetable exports and imports: where are we heading?

C.L.S.M. Karunarathne, W.M.T.P. Ariyaratne, C.K. Beneragama
Agriculture is synonymous with Sri Lanka, mainly due to ideal climate, soil conditions and as one of the most popular livelihoods. Vegetable production plays a leading role in agriculture and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. Though people talk about subsistence vegetable farming or self-sufficiency in vegetable production, reliable information is not adequately available for decision making. Therefore, this paper attempts to reveal the current status of the country’s exports and imports of vegetables. In 2015, Sri Lanka has earned 37.2 million US$ from exporting vegetables (HS 07 edible vegetables and certain roots and tubers) placing the country at the 81st place in the world exports. However, at present country’s vegetable exports have come to 0.1% share from the world’s exports. The country’s most popular vegetable exports include chilli, gherkin, red onion, bread fruit, youngJack, moringa, pumpkin and bitter gourd. Since decades, the Maldives (16%) have been in the forefront in the country’s vegetable exports, while the United Arab Emirates (15.1%) were the second largest buyer. These two countries alone shared 31% of total vegetable exports of Sri Lanka in 2015. However, in the last few years, the United Arab Emirates lost the market share, whereas the UK, Malaysia and USA show a gradual increase in the market share. Sri Lanka plays a leading role in Maldives’s vegetable import market accounting nearly 20% of the market share. When it comes to the country’s vegetable imports, India and Australia have the leading role during the last few years. These two countries shared more that 50% of the total vegetable import in 2015. Canada and China show a rapid growth rate in the country’s vegetable import market shares. The possible reasons for the present status and way-forward are discussed in this paper.
Karunarathne, C.L.S.M., Ariyaratne, W.M.T.P. and Beneragama, C.K. (2020). Present status of Sri Lankan vegetable exports and imports: where are we heading?. Acta Hortic. 1278, 253-260
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1278.36
vegetables, exports, imports, Sri Lanka, market share, countries

Acta Horticulturae