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New Pomegranate Varieties ‘Malee Pink’ and ‘Lanka Red’ Introduced for Cultivation in Sri Lanka

In a significant development, the Plant Virus Indexing Centre in Homagama conducted tissue culture research leading to the introduction of two novel varieties of pomegranate, namely ‘Malee Pink’ and ‘Lanka Red,’ for cultivation in Sri Lanka, as announced by the Agriculture Ministry.

Today, Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera facilitated the handover of these two new pomegranate varieties to farmers for cultivation. The distinguishing feature of these varieties lies in the extended lifespan of the pomegranate trees, surpassing 30 years, with an impressive yield of 20–25 kilograms of pomegranates per tree annually. It is estimated that 400 trees can be planted per acre, potentially generating an annual income of Rs. 8 million per acre, according to the Minister.

These newly introduced pomegranate varieties are particularly well-suited for cultivation in the dry zone and offer a viable alternative to the currently imported red pomegranate varieties. The Minister emphasized that the cultivation of these varieties could contribute to a reduction in the cost of pomegranate imports in the country.

In light of this, the Minister advised the Agriculture Department to prioritize the promotion of exportable crops as a strategic measure to curtail the unnecessary import of agricultural produce that can be feasibly grown within the country.

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