2 betel varieties, 1 arecanut variety introduced

Two betel varieties, named Narammali and Naramrathi and an arecanut variety called Matale Sinha were introduced at a function, chaired by minister Daya Gamage, at Dampelessa Betel Research Institute in Narammala yesterday.
A Narammali leaf is 25 cm in bredth and 19 mm in width, and weighs 8 grammes.
Its expected price is Rs. 4.00 per leaf.
Naramrathi, with 26 cm in bredth and 17 cm in length, weighs around 8 grammes.
Both can fetch a harvest of more than one million leaves per 1,000-stake cultivation.
Around 2,000 nuts a year are expected from the new arecanut variety, with a price at between Rs. 10.00 and Rs. 15.00 per nut.
Speaking on the occasion, minister Gamage said the new government has a big challenge to increase the rate of export growth which had been on the decline for the past 10 years.
The expectation is to raise the present export income of Rs. 1,540 billion to more than Rs. 3,500 billion after the end of the next five years, he said.
Also present were ministry secretary Gamini Amarawardena, Export Agriculture Department director Aruna Rupasinghe, betel and arecanut exporters and cultivators.