Peanut imports can be halted – Amaraweera

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Peanut imports can be discontinued, as Sri Lanka is self-sufficient in groundnuts, Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said.

He said Sri Lanka has introduced an alternative variety to the groundnut variety required for processing jumbo peanuts called ‘Sri Lanka Jumbo,’ adding that it is superior in quality to the imported groundnuts.

“Therefore, there is no need to import groundnuts. The Sri Lanka Jumbo peanut variety is presently becoming very popular locally. The Department of Agriculture, which introduced this variety, says that it is high-yielding and can provide 29 per cent of the daily protein requirement,” he further said.

He noted that the protein deficiency that has arisen due to rising prices of meat and fish, could be mitigated to a certain extent due to the protein content in peanuts.

Amaraweera added that groundnut, which is grown as a food crop, has been cultivated beyond the national requirement of our country, with the annual requirement being 30,000 MT and the harvest exceeding 64,000 MT.

“I have advised the officials of the Department of Agriculture to take measures to promote related products by using the extra yield of groundnuts. In particular, steps can be taken to start a peanut oil and peanut butter production programme that is good for the body, and to expand the cultivation of peanuts,” he said.