Targets for future of coconut industry | Daily News


 

Targets for future of coconut industry

Widely accepted as the pioneer of the coconut industry, the Coconut Development Authority was launched with the clear objective of enhancing the foreign exchange brought into the country through the export of coconut and coconut based products.

“The Sri Lankan coconut plantation is done encompassing approximately 1‚100‚000 acres of land area. This accounts for roughly 20% of the agricultural land of the country,” said Director – Marketing Development & Research, Coconut Development Authority, Sampath Samarawickrema,.

The coconut tree is closely connected with the socio-economic patterns of mankind and the product manufactured through different parts of the coconut tree has given birth too many lucrative industries. The coconut plantation of Sri Lanka has a rich and long history. It was notes that the harvest received during the past few decades accounts for a poultry average of approximately 3,109million coconuts per annum.

Harvests of 4000 million or more coconuts are required for general consumption of the society and to cater to the demand of the various related industries.

However, the current yield of coconuts is recorded within the range of 2700 – 3000 million coconuts per annum (There are instances where this figure drops down to 2500 million in certain years). Sri Lanka constantly faces a shortage in coconuts given to the fact that there is a significant gap in the demand and supply for coconuts in the market.

A harvest of 3200 million coconuts (this is not the total demand) is required in order to give a fair price for the stocks held by coconut plantation owners engaged in the production of coconut based products, to prevent the industry from falling into a crisis and to make sure that the entire general public is able to purchase coconuts for a fair and reasonable price.

Additionally it is important to retain the long-term international buyers who have vested interest in the local coconut exports by making sure the coconut based products sent into the international market are of high quality and is produced by following the best health and safety standards. This requires a stable annual coconut yield.

With that in mind, it will not be difficult to achieve these daunting targets if the industry strived to improve the harvest up to 3200 million coconuts based products, to prevent the industry from falling into a crisis and to make sure that the entire general public is able to purchase coconuts for a fair and reasonable price.

Additionally it is important to retain the long-term international buyers who have vested interest in the local coconut exports by making sure the coconut based products sent into the international market are of high quality and is produced by following the best health and safety standards. This requires a stable annual coconut yield.

With that in mind, it will not be difficult to achieve these daunting targets if the industry strived to improve the harvest up to 3200 million coconuts 70% of the overall coconut milk content when they use traditional methods of milking the coconut manually. That is a significant wastage.

Additionally, the domestic use of coconuts results in the inadvertent wastage of coconut shells, coconut peat, coconut water and coconut husk.

That means that the overall wastage of a coconut surpasses the afore mentioned 40%. However, these are raw materials which can be used within the coconut based products industry.

The Coconut Development Authority hopes to reduce the domestic coconut wastage by 30% by 2025.

The strategy to achieve this reduction is to discourage the use of coconuts and introduce housewives to the use of packaged coconut milk and coconut powder. The coconuts saved through this strategy will then in turn used within the aggregate coconut based product industry (coconut milk, coconut powder and pure coconut oil). This will significantly develop the exports of the coconut industry.

PRODUCTION AND EXPORT OF COCONUT BASED PRODUCTS

It is important to make sure that the products which are sent into the international market are internationally competitive and is what the international market demands.

This means that the coconut based products exported should be adhering to internationally acclaimed health standards.

Fail to do so, Sri Lanka will have to take part in a heated competition with the likes of Philippines, India and Vietnam. This would only increase the chances our products going unnoticed. Therefore, paying close attention to the standard of the products is crucial.

STEPPING INTO NEW INTERNATIONAL MARKETS

The Coconut Development authority constantly attempts to retain its existing international buyers at the same time seeks out new buyers by venturing into new markets with the hope of appreciating the price of the exported products. In similar fashion, the CDA plans to pay close attention to countries which are not currently dealing with Sri Lanka, getting into contact with foreign embassies and Constant General offices through the participation of international trade exhibitions, take part in B to B discussions and conventions, workshops, awareness programs and develop stringent measures to improve the export income generated by the coconut based product industry up to 1.5 billion USD by 2025.

FAIR OPPORTUNITIES CREATED FOR NEW COCONUT INDUSTRIES

The contenders within the coconut meat based industries need to improve if we are to realize the target of achieving an annual coconut yield of 3400 million coconuts by 2025. Furthermore, the existing industries need to upscale the volume of coconuts used within a year.

However, certain industries prefer to remain loyal to the traditional technologies.

They are restricted to their comfort zones since investing in new technologies request a considerable investment.

Fair and equal opportunities will be provided to these individuals if they are to step up as rigid industrialists and producers equipped with the required new technologies and craftsmanship, and are willing to pioneer new industries. Such a commitment would certainly simplify our journey towards achieve the targets mentioned through the discussion.

 


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