Bataleeya cashew sellers upbeat over arrival of foreign tour groups | Daily News

Bataleeya cashew sellers upbeat over arrival of foreign tour groups

Jayanthi Cooray

While welcoming the decision taken by the Government to open the country for foreign tour groups despite the Covide-19 pandemic situation, the traditional cashew sellers in Bataleeya Pasyala have requested Sri Lanka Tourism to help them promote their long standing cashew nut business after a lapse of several months.

Making a written request to Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga, Cashew Sellers Association (CSA), President Kalugama Aratchchige Surasinghe requested authorities to direct all local tour operators and tour guides and drivers who transport foreign tourists from Colombo to various destinations including Kandy, Kurunageala, Sigiriya, Dambulla and Kandalama along Kandy Road to make a brief pause at the cashew village at Bataleeya Pasyala to assist traders to revamp their lost business opportunities again.

Speaking to Daily News Business Surasinghe said Bataleeya Cashew Village, popularly known as Cadjugama among local and foreign tourists now temporarily closed due to the current pandemic situation in the country is expected to start operations from the beginning of mid -October aiming the forthcoming X’ mas and New Year seasons.

Cadjugam is located around 40 kilometers from Colombo and according to CSA nearly 75 cashew nut stalls in the village provided high quality cashew to foreign and local tour groups before commencing the pandemic situation. Surasinghe further said no one other than the Lake House Publication `Daily News visited the village during this period to personally look into the living conditions of nearly 900 people who make their living on selling cashew nuts as this traditional business has a long history from the colonial era to the time it was ruled by ancient kings . He also said around 100 foreign tourists and also tour groups before the pandemic situation used to purchase cashew nuts from stall owners who were engaged in their usual business activities on either side of the road.

He said raw cashew nuts are brought to the village from distant areas including from Ampara, Padaviya, Anuradhapura, Matara, Dambulla and Gampaha. On behalf of the CCSA members Surasinghe requested Sri Lanka Tourism to direct foreign tour operators and guides to stop their vehicles in the Cadjugama village to enable tourists to purchase cashew from village stalls.

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