The Sri Lanka seed market is expected to register a CAGR of 3.1% during the forecast period (2021-2026). The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the production, certification, distribution, and cost of seeds, which developed obstacles in agricultural sectors and food systems in developing countries like Sri Lanka. The industry suffered from severe labor crisis due to restricted movements which impacted the production, supply crunches due to limited transportation which affected the distribution, and a contraction in the market for plants and seeds created problems in terms of the production of seed for international trade, as well as access to high-quality seed of modern varieties for domestic agriculture. According to the FAO, rice being the major staple crop of Sri Lanka, registered a production volume of 3,929,831 metric ton in 2018. The country's vegetable production volume was about 969,244 metric ton during the same year, which was less than that of the previous year. This created the demand for quality seeds for production. Variation in the production of cereals and vegetables necessitating the requirement of quality seed for consistent production and to increase productivity. With Sri Lanka being a large community of farmers, Rice and curry are the main food consumed thus creating the need for increased production to meet the domestic consumption requirement.
Key Market Trends
Need for the Consistent Production
Agriculture, the mainstay of the economy, employs about 35% of the working population and contributes 21% to GDP. The majority of farmers in Sri Lanka use rice seed produced on-farm or obtained from neighboring farmers, through an informal seed supply system. This is resulting in the yield of rice crop to slightly vary over the years. In order to increase the production and productivity of the rice, quality seeds are required which implicates the demand for the seed market in Sri Lanka.
Rice Dominates the Cereals Market
Cereals have been an important part of the Sri Lankan diet. The country produced nearly 4 million tonnes of cereals in 2018. Rice, millet, maize, and sorghum are some of the cereal crops grown in Srilanka. According to FAO, Rice and maize are the majorly produced crops with a production share of 93.3% and 6.4% in 2018. Rice is the single most important crop occupying 34.0% with 0.77 million ha of the total cultivated area in Sri Lanka. Rice is the staple food of the 21.8 million Sri Lankan population. The country produced 4.5 million metric tons of rice in 2019 which is 0.6 metric tons more than the previous year. As rice is the staple food in Sri Lanka, the production of rice is expected to increase further. Thus, rice seeds play a key role in the Srilanka seed market.
The overall seed market in Sri Lanka is fragmented, because of the presence of a large number of local players marketing certified seeds. The major players in the market are Tropical Seeds/OPEX Holdings, CIC Agri-Business, Hayleys Agriculture, Plantchem Pvt Ltd (Plant Seeds Private Limited), and Advanta Seeds.
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