10 m coconut saplings for cultivation
Plantations Industries Minister D.M. Jayaratne said coconut
cultivators who are above 60 years of age could also use air guns to
protect their coconut cultivations from being destroyed by monkeys and
rock squirrels, after the cultivators’ physical fitness is examined.
Addressing the Coconut Cultivators Annual convention at the BMICH
recently, Minister Jayaratne said air guns are now being issued to
coconut cultivators in the Matara, Galle and Kurunegala districts with
the approval of the Defence Ministry.
More than 900 cultivators have applied for air guns which have
tremendously helped to check the destruction caused by monkeys and rock
The Coconut Cultivation Board is in the process of cultivating more
than 10 millions coconut saplings islandwide this year. The Ministry has
planned to establish nurseries in every DS division and coconut
cultivators could collect their requirement from these nurseries.
The government will soon increase the levy on palm oil imports from 5
per cent to 15 per cent to further promote coconut cultivations in the
country and a Task Force will be appointed by the Plantations Industries
Ministry to explore new strategies in the promotion of tea, rubber and
The influx of palm oil to local market had led to a deterioration in
the quality of coconut oil produced in Sri Lanka and this trend has to
be curbed. The industry is also hit by the lack of experienced hands.
The Ministry is providing all assistance including necessary funds
and hi tech equipment to those who wish to initiate coconut related
industries. These budding entrepreneurs will also receive training and
government guidance, he said.
I have instructed the officials that supplementary crops should be
grown in plantation lands that belong to the Government. The excessive
use of fertiliser has created an adverse impact on soil. The quality of
the soil is diminishing day by day, the Minister said.
The program to provide five coconut seedlings to each family in the
country is in progress. Coconut production has slightly reduced and a
tangible programme and strategies should be evolved to counter this
More than 1.2 million coconut trees are felled annually to meet the
housing and industries needs of the country. This situation can be
curtailed if an action plan is launched by the Government.
Ministry secretary Indrani Sugathadasa, Coconut Cultivators
Association President Nimal Samarakkody and Coconut Cultivation Board
Chairman Dr. Jayanatha Gunathilake also spoke.