Sabaragamuwa PC boosts kithul industry | Daily News


Sabaragamuwa PC boosts kithul industry








The Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council plans to establish the first economical kithul cultivation in the country, Sabaragamuwa Governor Dhamma Dissanayake said.

Accordingly, it has been planned to cultivate kithul in the two districts of the province aiming to draw a significant income.

He made these remarks while participating in an awareness discussion at a kithul promotion programme at the Pussella Provincial Training Centre recently. The initial discussion in this regard was held in Ratnapura with the participation of Sabaragamuwa Province Governor Dhamma Dissanayake recently.

He further said that Development Authorities and various kinds of Development Boards have been established to promote and streamline tea, rubber, coconut, and palmyra cultivations as those cultivations are considered as economic crops. But, no Kithul Development Authority has been established in the country so far as the kithul cultivation has not been identified as an economical crop.

The Governor, while addressing the participants said that the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council has already passed a declaration to establish a Kithul Development Authority, with the aim of strengthening the rural economy through economical kithul cultivation. The proposed provincial Kithul Development Authority (KDA) will be the first-ever state body established for the development of the kithul industry and it has been planned to expand to the national level.

According to the Governor, during a discussion which he had with President Maithiripala Sirisena, the President had expressed his consent to establish a National Kithul Development Authority.

The Governor said that it has been planned to plant 40,000 kithul plants in the Kegalle and Ratnapura districts covering the 28 Divisional Secretariats this year.

The climatic condition of the Sabaragamuwa Province is suitable for kithul cultivation and therefore, kithul grows well in the province. Expressing the objectives of establishing the KDA, Governor Dissanayake said the rural economy can be boosted with the proper utilisation of kithul, which is widely available in the province.

“Moreover, it is reported that persons are slowly moving away from the kithul industry. Therefore, it is important to implement a proper mechanism to attract more persons to the industry,” he said.

While drawing attention on cutting down kithul trees for various reasons, especially for animal food, Governor Dissanayake highlighted the need of imposing new rules relating to cutting down of kithul trees. Kithul trees in the Kegalle district are cut down for elephants at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. Therefore, it is necessary to identify alternative food for elephants.

“The KDA will be responsible for facilitating the entry of interested persons into the Kithul industry and will work towards strengthening their businesses, he said.

“Special attention will be given to empowering the people who join the kithul industry economically and socially. Besides, they will receive social dignity and legal support. Through this move, persons and families engaging in the kithul industry will be covered by an insurance policy and a compensation mechanism. Measures are being taken to motivate people to cultivate kithul as an economical crop in the province. Small and medium-scale private and state estates will be used for new kithul cultivations,” a provincial officer said.

He said that several legal regulations and social concepts have become a hindrance for Kithul consumption and entering the Kithul industry. Therefore, attention will be given to rectify those hindrances.

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