Drive to promote arecanut as export crop | Daily News

Drive to promote arecanut as export crop

The Export Agriculture Department said arecanut production has been fast dwindling for several reasons including the clearing of land for expanding agricultural development, resettlement, and the blocking of land for sale.

Export Agriculture Director General A.P. Heenkende told the Daily News that arecanut has been an export crop from ancient times in Sri Lanka and it draws substantial foreign exchange for the country today. Apart from being a valuable commercial export, the arecanut tree fosters soil and water preservation around irrigational systems, forest reservations, and paddy fields.

“The Export Agriculture Department has under the circumstances embarked on a massive district-level arecanut cultivation promotion programme in the country. All government agents have been requested to conduct awareness programmes among various public organisations including famer organisations about the benefits of growing areanut,” he said.

“Our target is to cultivate one million areca nut plants every year,” the Director General said.

He said arecanut plants are provided free at the request of government agents. Assistant directors and district extension officers in 17 districts have been instructed to work in collaboration with divisional secretaries and agriculture and agrarian development officers in making the one million arecanut plant cultivation programme a success.

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