Minister of Plantations Dr. Ramesh Pathirana stated that the export of coconuts and related products earned about $ 850 million last year.
The Minister further stated that as there is a high demand in the world for local coconuts and allied products, the export earnings could be increased up to 20% annually.
This was stated by the Minister at the inauguration of the Middeniya Hybrid Seed Coconut Production Centre in Tangalle.
Speaking further, Dr. Pathirana said: “Last season, the Coconut Cultivation Board produced 20 million coconut seedlings annually. But that amount is not enough to meet the demand for coconut seedlings. Therefore, the Ministry of Plantations has commenced a project to produce as many coconut seedlings as the country needs.”
Accordingly, the Ministry of Plantations expects to produce at least five million coconut seedlings this year. To achieve this goal, the Government hopes to produce 5,000 coconut seedlings under the community contribution of the Coconut Research Institute, the Coconut Cultivation Board, as well as each divisional secretariat. The Coconut Cultivation Board will provide 5,000 high-quality coconut seeds for this purpose. Anyone can cultivate those seeds on their land.
The Government aims to produce two million low-yielding, high-yielding hybrid coconut seedlings by 2023.
Moreover, there is a huge demand in the country for hybrid coconuts that bear fruit in a very short time. However, the annual production of hybrid coconut seedlings in our country is around 200,000. Accordingly, the Coconut Cultivation Board has taken over the responsibility of producing hybrid coconut seedlings in government coconut estates as well as selected private estates.
Last year saw the highest export earnings in the history of the plantation industry in the country – $ 3.8 billion. Tea cultivation earned $ 1.3 billion last year. Exports of coconut-based products earned $ 850 million last year; it increases by 20% annually.
There is a huge demand in the world for local coconut-based products.