Plantation Sector can make significant contribution to economy – President | Daily News


Plantation Sector can make significant contribution to economy – President

By working towards a target, the plantation sector has the potential to be a significant contributor to the National economy, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa stated yesterday. 

He made this observation at the Presidential Secretariat while exploring ways of maximizing the productivity of the plantation sector whilst returning to normalcy and recommencing the economy. “The whole world is currently facing a severe crisis,” noted President. 

It is important to understand that the plantation sector has a key role to play to build the local economy. Therefore, it is vital to quickly transform loss making plantations into profitable ventures, President pointed out. The reasons for Janatha Estate Board to be a loss making entity must be investigated. Progressive steps must be taken to secure adequate profits by regulating  the exporting of timber from the Plantation Corporation. 

He stressed the importance of ensuring the food security for the people and also discussed at length the measures needed to promote exports. 

“In 2018, the income from export crops was Rs 538 billion,” noted Minister of Plantation Industries and Export Agriculture Dr. Ramesh Pathirana. “The Ministry is hoping to build this to a Rs 753 billion industry by 2020.”

Coconut plantations, targeting both the local and export markets, will be developed, Dr. Pathirana said. In the North also, in places such as Palai, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu coconut cultivation has been most successful. Steps have also been taken to develop the cocoa and coffee sectors. 

Cultivation can be further supported by establishing an agricultural unit in the army, said the President. 

At the meeting, the potential of the rural cashew cultivation to stregthen the rural economy, the need to reconstruct tanks to support the plantation sector and to involve the Ministry of Forest Conservation and Lands to help resolving  issues faced by the Plantation sector were also discussed. 


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