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‘Betel cultivators should organize themselves’

Primary industries minister Daya Gamage advises betel cultivators to form societies at village level and organize themselves in order to find a good price for their produce.

At a meeting at his ministry today (14) with All Ceylon Agrarian Services Conference representatives led by its chief Namal Karunaratne, the minister promised his fullest support in that regard.

Noting that betel is a crop without much of a demand and also that only Pakistan buys betel from Sri Lanka, Mr. Gamage said the government was unable to mediate and buy their produce.

The supply is higher than the demand and certain traders have got together to buy at low prices, leading to a decline in betel prices, he said.

Promoting the sale of betel in the world market by using its therapeutic qualities came under discussion.

The minister instructed officials of the betel research institute at Narammala to conduct a research and report to him in that connection.

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