As a country blessed with a tropical climate and a geography that suit a variety of agricultural crops, Sri Lanka has been supplying a range of tropical fruit, nut, and vegetables to the world.
On top of Sri Lanka’s climatic advantage, the fertile soils and the conventional wisdom handed down from generation to generation, the established agricultural facilities, irrigation systems, and distributed rainfall patterns are quite conducive to the cultivation of such crops.
Produced by autonomous clusters of farmers, around eighty different varieties of fruit and vegetables are grown in Sri Lanka's varied agro-climatic areas. They collectively produce more than 900,000 metric tons of fruit and vegetable annually and export both fresh and processed varieties to many destinations in the world. Improved techniques on crop cultivation especially under polytunnels, optimum input applications, pest and disease control, post-harvest management, quality packaging, and improved transportation methods are practiced to ensure the best quality. The government also encourages the private sector engagement in commercial cultivation for further expansion.
The cooler climes of the central hill regions are excellent for temperate crops such as carrot, leek, cabbage, cauliflower, salad leaves, beet, bean, bell pepper and salad cucumbers while the lower country with its dry and wet climes are conducive to a variety of exotic tropical fruits and vegetables such green chilli, red onion, pumpkin, bitter gourd, melon, sweet and sour banana types, queen pineapple, papaya, mango, lemon, and so on.
Sri Lankan also produces succulent tropical fruit such as pineapple, mangosteen, ripe jack, avocado, rambutan, star fruit, passion fruit, and anoda, etc which are known far and wide for their rich unique flavors, aromas with bright appetising colours markets. Also, they’re known to contain plenty of nutrients and entail significant health benefits. With a consumer-base that is increasingly health-conscious, the global demand for Sri Lankan fruit is clearly on the rise.
Besides fruits and vegetables, Sri Lanka also exports various endogenous yams (Lecranthus and Xanthasoma sagittifolium), underwater stems (Lasia spinosa and Nymphea lotus) and fruit and pods of perennial crops such as bread fruit, young jackfruit, and murunga (drumstick) which are both local and international favourites.
The fruits and vegetables exports are primarily a result of the efforts of semi-commercialised small farmers whose individual extent of land does not exceed a hectare. Private sector engagement in commercial cultivation too has been encouraged by the Sri Lankan Government with support from 'contract growing' farmers, and steps have already been taken by the leading entities to enhance cultivation.
Sri Lanka produces more than 900,000 metric tons of fruit and vegetables annually and exports both fresh and processed varieties to many destinations in the world. 65% of the fresh products are targeted for the Middle East and the Maldives Island and about 98% of the processed products for the European market. United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Maldives, India, UK, Kuwait, India, Germany, Qatar, Pakistan have been enlisted as the major fruits, nt and vegetable importing countries from Sri Lanka.
While accommodating the growing demand for fruits, nuts and vegetables exports from Sri Lanka, the exporters continue to maintain stellar quality standards with continued innovation and growth within the industry every year to provide the best quality fruits, nuts and vegetables to the world.