The Sri Lankan government has decided to provide 2.3 million coconut seedlings to the public next year to boost coconut growth, Plantations Minister Ramesh Pathirana said.
Pathirana said that Sri Lanka’s coconut industry had been a large foreign exchange earner in the export market over the years and the public sector alone was not enough to meet the coconut demand in the country, reports Xinhua news agency.
The Minister said the coconut seedlings would be provided to private entrepreneurs as well as members of the general public as there was a huge demand for coconut cultivation.
“Sri Lanka is unable to produce enough coconuts to meet the existing demand in the local and global market. The Coconut Cultivation Board will be ready to supply the required coconut seedlings to the entire country by next January,” the Minister said.
According to official figures, coconuts account for approximately 12 per cent of all agricultural produce in Sri Lanka with the total land area under cultivation covering 409,244 hectares and about 2,500 to 3000 million nuts produced per year.
New measures have been introduced to enhance the annual coconut crop to 3,600 million nuts per year.