Minister Bathiudeen (centre) felicitated by officials of the Global Pulse Confederation (GPC) in Turkey
Sri Lanka imports lentils of all types to the value of US $ 70 million – 100 million annually. Sixty five percent of the expenditure on pulse imports is for red lentils which have become a staple food almost similar to our main staple food which is rice, said Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, addressing the Global Pulse Convention 2016 (GPC16) held in Cesme, Izmir, Turkey recently.
“Pulses and grains were introduced to Sri Lanka historically and today pulses have become a staple in Sri Lankan households as a result. Its imports are rising fast. Australia and Canada have become important suppliers of red lentils to Sri Lanka.
Lentil imports now claim more than 7 percent of our annual food & beverages imports. The trend is a continuously increasing volume of lentil imports year-on-year,” added Minister Bathiudeen.
“As for red-lentils on average Sri Lanka imports US $ 6.3 million of “whole red lentils” per month which is $75 million annually.” GPC is the world’s leading annual pulses and grains confab and is organised by the Global Pulse Confederation (GPC). Y2016 has been declared as the International Year of Pulses. According to the organisers GPC, this annual event has become a prime networking platform for $100 billion global pulse production, marketing & processing industries. Minister Bathiudeen was addressing the global pulse experts during the 20 May’s session of GPC16.
As for Turkey-Sri Lanka relations, official diplomatic ties go back to 1948 but when it comes to trading relations, our relations go back even further. In 2013 Sri Lanka was honoured to be the first ever Asian Partner country at Turkey’s Izmir international trade Fair series. Sri Lanka’s trade with Turkey has been increasing over the last few years. In 2014 we witnessed the highest bilateral trade between the two countries at $311 million. In 2015 total trade was at $230 million.