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DateLine Tuesday, 11 November 2008

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Tariff adjustments to palm oil proposed

The Coconut Growers' Association has proposed to the Government that tariff adjustments to palm oil should be linked to a pricing policy acceptable to the growers and it should be triggered through the Plantation Industries Ministry.

President Coconut Growers' Association Parakrama Jayatilake told the Daily News Business. He pointed out that usage of palm oil may be effective to

force down farm gate prices but such action cannot effectively counterbalance the ever increasing cost of other commodities included in the COL basket of commodities.

He said it is necessary to prevent exploitation of tariff adjustments by palm oil importers by regulating the quantities that can be imported.

He has proposed that an inventory should be made of all palm oil storage facilities in the country and to monitor and regulate quantities held in stock.

Jayatilake also proposed that the fund collected for the development of the industry should equitably distributed with active participation of coconut growers.

The association representatives have met the authorities and have requested to formulate a policy to safeguard the future of the coconut industry and make this policy known to the growers. The association believes that sustainable coconut production calls for not only short term inputs but calls for stability in the industry.

"There are 700,000 coconut holdings in the country and eighty seven per cent of these are less than 20 acres. This impacts on 3.5 million people who are fully or partly dependent on coconut cultivation, Jayatilake said.

 

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