Project to grow coconut in 80,000 acres in NE | Daily News

Project to grow coconut in 80,000 acres in NE

Minister visiting one of the coconut plantations

In a bid to increase coconut cultivation, the Plantations Industries Ministry has undertaken a mammoth project to grow 80,000 acres of coconut only in the North East.

Plantation Industries Minister Navin Dissanayake said the total coconut production for 2015 was 3,056 million nuts. However the demand was much more and there is an urgent need for more coconuts. This demand is also from the industrial sector and also from companies engaged in the export business of coconut by products.In addtion diseases to coconut platations in the South and felling of coconut trees for housing too have resulted in the decline of the supply.

The Minister said that they have identified this grey area and have now set a target to produce 3,600 million nuts for 2016.

“We have identified the North East areas as the new Coconut Triangle and have launched two key projects to achieve an addition of 80,000 acres of coconut cultivation. “Under an on going project we will undertake the rehabilitation of 40,000 acres. In addtion we will assist the new planting of 40,000 acres thereby increasing the new plantations in the North East to to a total of 80,000 acres.”

“Tea and Coconut” is another ongoing program from March 2016. “Under this we hope to grow coconut in low county tea estates as a second crop.This would be except few areas in Nuwara eliya and Badulla that don’t have soil and weather conditions for coconut.

The Minister said that under the 2016 budget allocation Rs. 850 million has been granted for Kapruka Ayojana Loan scheme and subsidies for 2016 and new cultivators should exploit this. “This loan scheme and subsidies is being handled by the Coconut Cultivation Board.”

There are three organizations for Coconut under the Plantation Industries Ministry, Coconut Cultivation Board, Coconut Development Authority and the Coconut Research Institute and steps are being taken to reactivate them and provide a better service to Sri Lanka. “We want to re-postition the nurseries as well.”

Currently the Sri Lanka Coconut Cultivation is more than eleven hundred thousands acres.

 


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