Big onion imports to Sri Lanka will stop by 2015 when the country becomes self-sufficient in big onions, said Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa.
The self- sufficiency programme will help the country save Rs 6,000 million in foreign-exchange spent annually on importing 200,000 metric tons of big onions, he said.
Minister Basil Rajapaksa said so at a meeting at his ministry office in connection with the setting up of a task force for making the country self sufficient in potatoes, big onions and red onions.
The Economic Development Minister said cultivators should be encouraged to grow these food items and added that the country is already self-sufficient in sorghum, paddy and ulundu.
He recalled that in the past, imperialists had destroyed the paddy cultivation to break the will power of the people.
The present government had today, revived it and made the country self-sufficient.
Sri Lanka's annual potato requirement is 130,000 metric tons. Of this amount, 40 percent is locally produced while 60 percent is imported. Out of the country's requirement of red onions, 93 percent is locally grown. Since the end of the war, red onion cultivation had gone up rapidly.