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Sugar industry of Sri Lanka

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– **History**:
Sugar production in Sri Lanka dates back to the 19th century.
– Initial experiments with sugar as a cash crop were conducted during the colonial period.
– Challenges such as land usage for rice cultivation and transportation hindered the growth of the sugar industry.
– Pelwatte Sugar Industries is a leading sugar production factory in Sri Lanka.
– Importation of 90,000 metric tonnes of sugar occurred in mid-year 2020.

– **Sugarcane Cultivation**:
Sugarcane is the primary crop for sugar production in Sri Lanka.
– Ideal conditions in the Eastern part of the country support sugarcane cultivation.
– Major contributions to sugarcane cultivation come from Monaragala and Ampara Districts.
– Four key sugarcane plantations involved in sugar production are Pellwatte, Hingurana, Sevanagala, and Kanthale.
– Efforts are being made to reopen the Kanthale sugar processing plant for increased production.

– **Annual Sugar Consumption**:
– Sri Lanka has an annual per capita sugar consumption of approximately 30kg (66lb).
– The country’s total annual sugar requirement is around 550,000 tons.
– Local sugar production in 2012 was only 42,940 tons, leading to the importation of 593,870 tons.
– 90% of sugar imports are sourced from Brazil and India.
– The total annual expenditure on sugar imports is approximately Rs. 20 billion.

– **Sugar Production Statistics**:
– The total extent under sugarcane cultivation decreased from around 16,000 hectares during 2003-2005 to 8,600 hectares.
– Total annual sugar production declined from around 60,000 tons during 2000-2004 to approximately 30,000 tons.
– In addition to sugar, around 12 million liters (3,200,000 US gallons) of alcohol are produced annually.
– Data from 1998-2018 shows fluctuations in local production and import percentages.
– The total sugar supply in Sri Lanka has varied over the years.

– **References**:
– Key references include publications on agriculture in Sri Lanka and food balance sheets.
– Reports on domestic sugar production and trade policies are essential sources.
– The involvement of government bodies and statistical departments is crucial in monitoring sugar industry trends.
– Research and development initiatives related to climate change mitigation in the sugarcane sector are also referenced.
– The FAOSTAT database provides valuable information on global agricultural statistics.

Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) is the only crop cultivated in Sri Lanka for manufacture of sugar. This crop can be growth on well drained soil up to an elevation of about 1,000 m (3,300 ft). Sugarcane has been cultivated in Sri Lanka since 19th century. About three decades ago, in the 1970s Sri Lanka was cultivated in about 25,000 ha (62,000 acres). There were 3,840 ha (9,500 acres) in Kantale, 5,660 ha (14,000 acres) in Hingurana, 4,500 ha (11,000 acres) in Pelwatte, 4,680 ha (11,600 acres) in Seveanagala and 5,700 ha (14,000 acres) in Moneragala. At present, only Pelwatta and Sevanagala factories are functioning. Cultivation at Hingurana has started and it is likely that the factory will start production in 2010. Most of the lands cultivated with sugarcane are in the intermediate zone. Receiving annual rainfall of 1,250–2,000 mm (49–79 in) distributed in a bimodal pattern.

The annual per capita consumption of sugar in Sri Lanka is around 30 kg (66 lb) and the total annual requirement of sugar in the country is around 550,000 tons. In 2012, the country only produced 42,940 tons and imported 593,870 tons, with only approximately 7% of the annual requirement produced locally. The balance requirement has to be imported. The total annual expenditure on sugar imports is around Rs. 20 billion. In 2008, 575,000 tons of sugar have been imported at a cost of Rs. 22.3 billion. 90% sugar imported from Brazil and India.

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