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Sunday, 27 September 2009

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SAPPTA celebrates silver jubilee

The Spices and Allied Products Traders Association (SAPPTA) recently held its 25th Annual General Meeting and also had its Silver Jubilee celebrations.

The Chief Guest was Mr. Ranugge, Secretary, Ministry of Export Development and International Trade was standing in for his Minister Professor Peiris who could not be present due to unavoidable circumstances.

The outgoing Chairman, Mr. Kathrik Ramachandran in his address stated that the year 2008/2009 contributed Rs. 16.8 billion in exports of spices and allied products. This he said, was a small growth over the previous year. Volumes grew from 29122 to 33026 tonnes during this period, he added. He stated that the global demand for spices will continue to increase as the awareness now exists that spices contribute to a healthy life style.

K. Ramachandran cautioned that a very few indigenous exporters having a vested interest in the spice extraction industry tried to get the Government to introduce an export cess on Pepper Light berries and Nutmegs BWP which exercise would have benefited their extraction industry.

SAPPTA lost no time in bringing to the notice of the Government that the introduction of any such levy would discourage the growers.

He emphasised that the producers would be called upon to subsidise the extractors. Saner counsel prevailed as no cess was introduced, he concluded.

The outgoing Chairman also stated that the Department of Export Agriculture is making a study to ascertain whether the banning of the export of Pepper Light Berries would lead to greater exports of Pepper.

SAPPTA is against any state intervention of this nature. he added.

Mr. Ranugge, the Chief Guest stated that a regular dialogue must be maintained between the Government and the export Association to determine what is best for the export sector before changes in policy are introduced.

The incoming Chairman Mr. Christopher Fernando stated that the Plantation Sector has got involved in a small way in diversifying and gone into the production of spices. SAPPTA will continue to endeavour to get the Estates more involved.

Addressing the Silver Jubilee AGM of SAPPTA, Mr. Fernando said that theft of produce is killing the spice industry. No serious investor will invest his money and time if he cannot reap his harvest. We implore the Government to introduce rules of deterrents against theft of agricultural produce.

Paying a tribute to all stakeholders in the spice industry growers, exporters, produce broker's, traders etc; whose achievement has sustained and enhanced the progress of SAPPTA to reach its preset enviable position.

To commemorate the Silver Jubilee, fifteen members, became life members and received plaques from the Chief Guest.

In addition SAPPTA identified and honoured a member, Mr. Lakshman Kodytuwakku for the excellent service to the Spice Industry over a period of over forty years.

Mr. Gulam Chatoor, founder Chairman of SAPPTA, in the Citation, recalled his uninterrupted association with the Spice trade in Sri Lanka over a period of 45 years and stated that he had always displayed a pleasant relationship with people and that has made him very popular in the trade.

 

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