Agriculture Ministry Aims to Revive Coffee Cultivation, Allocates Rs. 400 Million for Expansion
The Agriculture and Plantation Industry Ministry under Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has unveiled ambitious plans to allocate Rs. 400 million towards the planting of 400 hectares of coffee in the upcoming year. President Ranil Wickremesinghe has earmarked this substantial fund to bolster coffee cultivation in 2024, aiming to rekindle the nation’s prominence in the global coffee market.
Minister Amaraweera highlighted the foreign market’s surging demand for coffee, despite its current status not being a primary plantation crop in Sri Lanka. With this in mind, the initiative seeks to reignite and popularize coffee cultivation, offering incentives of one million rupees per hectare. He urged officials to actively support and motivate farmers keen on venturing into coffee cultivation.
The Ministry’s 2024 Budget, outlined in the discussion on fiscal management, has earmarked Rs. 96 billion. Emphasizing efficient utilization of this allocation, Minister Amaraweera stressed the importance of maximizing its impact for the industry’s growth.
Renowned for its diverse coffee varieties including Coffea Arabica (Arabica coffee), Coffea Canephora (Robusta coffee), and Libarica coffee, Sri Lanka boasts a rich heritage in coffee cultivation. The Minister specifically directed the Export Agriculture Department to prioritize the cultivation of Arabica coffee due to its global popularity.
In a bid to enhance productivity, the Ministry introduced high-yielding Arabica coffee varieties like HTD, S09, Katimur, Lakparakum, Lak Saviru, and Lak Komali. Simultaneously, local species of Robusta coffee such as IMY, S274, GCR, CCI, Lanka Chandra, Lanka Bhimsara, and Lanka Isuru have been introduced, aiming to diversify and boost coffee production.