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SRI LANKA : Nelna Group to invest Rs 500 m for mango export

Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - 01:00

Hiran H.Senewiratne

Nelna Group plans to venture into export of mango on a large scale.

The company will invest Rs 500 million to set up two factories in Monaragala district. 

At present the company is running two plantations, one at Embilipitiya, which is 150 acres and the other one at Moneragala which is 500 acres targeting top-end markets in Middle East, Europe and Singapore, its Chief Executive Officer Sherman Gunatillake told the Daily News business.

“This is the largest plantation in the country, which has been branded as “Nelna” Mango, which is more than the international standard called BRIX level,” 
he said.

With the increasing demand the company will invest Rs 300 million for a mango pulp manufacturing plant and an Individual Quick Frozen (IQF) plant at an investment of Rs 200 million at Moneragala district, he said.

Gunatillake said that internal BRIX level or sweetness level is 14 percent to 16 percent. But “Nelna” branded mango as BRIX level between 22 percent to 24 percent, which is a very high percentage. 

Therefore, there is good demand from their export countries because it’s dilute capacity is very high, he said.

The company manages the country’s largest mango plantations selling at US$ 5 per kilogram and expects to export in the future.

Under their 650 acres total plantation, the company expects to earn US$ 10 to 15 million for a year. But the company’s main target is to earn US$ 50 million in 2020, he said.

The company is also exporting mango pulp to Korea and Japan and once the pulp plant is setup they could increase their exports to many other countries as well. 

Further, IQF plant will also set up in the same land will also be able to start exporting them because IQF is ideal for the ice cream industry, he said.

Gunatillake said that this industry is high labour intensive sector and for an acre they have to have five persons.

The company intends to employ more than 3000 persons for the plantation, he said.

The company also uses modern technology like carbon quoted bags for packaging and to maintain right colour texture and to protect from pesticides, he said.

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