A decline in the Farm Gate Prices for coconuts will create a long
term negative set back to the coconut growing industry. The annual peak
crops harvested during June, July and August and it is very unfortunate
the Duty on Imported Edible Oil was slashed down to 5 per cent and
thereby, depressing the Farm Gate Price of Coconuts.
At the Colombo Coconut Auctions held on August 28 whilst the average
and the highest bids have ranged at Rs. 19 per nut, the lowest had been
Rs. 17/50. Accordingly, the traders who buy coconuts from the farmers
will naturally pay approximately Rs. 17 to Rs. 16 at the Farm Gate
level, having taken into consideration the cost of husking, transport
With the increase in cost of production, due to high cost of
fertiliser, labour rates, increasing overheads as a result of high fuel
cost, cost of pesticide and weedicide, it is practically impossible to
maintain coconut land, unless we see a reasonable increase in Farm Gate
The cost of fertiliser is approx. Rs. 90,000 per M/Ton for Adult
Palms and Rs. 60,000 for Young Palms. These prices are exorbitantly high
and the growers cannot afford. Whilst time is fast reaching to use
organic fertiliser, here again, due to limited resources and the cost of
application of organic fertiliser, create practical difficulty in
Although the duty on edible oil has been increased to 15 per cent
perhaps due to a large volume of edible oil imported to the country,
there had not been a reasonable increase in the Farm Gate Price of
To add insult to injury, Vanaspathi Manufacturers are pressurising
import and marketing of palm oil in Sri Lanka, which will obviously kill
the coconut oil industry.
Therefore, the Authorities concerned, should give a serious look at
the current scenario, and take effective measures to step up the Farm
Gate Price of Coconuts and relief measures for fertiliser.
The women who risk so much and go for work in the Middle East deserve
generous rewards. It is mean and unkind to deprive them of the benefits
when they return to the country. I was very upset to read a news item
that the Customs has decided to exclude from their duty free purchases,
the large size refrigerators and TVs, air conditioners and several other
It is a fact that most of what they buy duty free, at times are
purchased by traders at the airport. On these goods these women make a
This is a benefit they look forward to. The profit they earn is
higher on the high priced goods. The Customs has removed those high
priced goods from the list of permitted goods. This is an unkind blow to
the poor returneres and a bonus to big time importers of these goods who
will now increase their market prices.
It is likely that the Customs is trying to meet the target revenue
collections given to them by the Ministry of Finance - the importers
would pay duty when they import these goods to meet the market demand.
By removing the high priced goods from the list of permitted goods,
Customs are depriving the poor returnees of the meagre income they make
from the duty free goods they are entitled to.
This is robbing the poor to benefit the rich. I am sure the
authorities would realise the injustice and intervene and the press will
give equal publicity to the correction of this injustice.
I agree with the writer of the above titled article (DN. Aug. 27)
that our Olympic and other international contingents should be trained
in a meaningful manner.
They must be told to select a bunch of athletes at the eleventh hour
for the sake of representing the country.
When will Sri Lanka sports learn lessons? This is like playing the
violin to the deaf.
Nugegoda, a village situated close to Waskaduwa, Kalutara is facing
many difficulties. These villagers lack the basic facilities. They donít
have a post office or a sub-post office, an office for the Grama
Niladhari and poor transport service after nightfall.
Residents of both Nugegoda and Delduwa are very much worried mostly
about communication and telephone facilities without at least an agent