The government has decided to move ahead and establish the Kitul Development Board, while nominating kitul (fishtail palms) as a main plantation crop.
The Cabinet of Ministers on Monday approved a Cabinet memo submitted by Plantation Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana to nominate kitul crop as a main plantation crop and to establish the Kitul Development Board.
“The kitul-related production industry, which is endemic to Sri Lanka, is recognised as a highly potential industry for foreign exchange earnings while various actions have been taken to uplift the kitul industry during the previous periods,” the Government Information Department said.
In September, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa revealed plans to develop kitul as a main export crop while advising the officials to take swift steps to set up a separate state entity to standardise and promote the crop.
The European market has been identified as a key potential market for kitul, which is considered to be a natural sweetener.
The European market is currently one of the largest importers of kitul products manufactured in Sri Lanka,
while the demand in Europe is mainly driven by the large concentrations of Sri Lankan diaspora in key European countries such the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy. (NF)