President launches prog to increase coconut crop
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa recently launched a programme to increase the annual coconut crop to 3,600 million nuts per year from the current level of 2,800 million nuts.

Sri Lanka’s name has long been at the forefront of the international market for its traditional exports – tea, rubber, and coconut. The National Policy Framework, ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour,’ emphasised the promotion of coconut cultivation and related products to maintain that position in the future.

The Ministry of Plantation, the State Ministry of Coconut, Kitul, Palmyrah, and Rubber Product Promotion and Allied Industrial Production and Export Diversification, and the Coconut Cultivation Board are working together to achieve this goal through the ‘Dorin Dorata Kapruka’ National Programme.

On 10 July, President Rajapaksa launched the ‘Dorin Dorata Kapruka’ National Programme, which aims to plant 4 million coconut saplings at the Weliketiya Estate in Bujjampola, Dankotuwa. It is expected that the target of planting 4 million coconut saplings will be met within the next year.

Therefore, one million coconut saplings will be given to Samurdhi recipients, another two million will be distributed under a subsidiary scheme, and the remaining one million will be available for purchase by anyone who wishes to cultivate.

To commemorate the launch of this national programme, the President planted a coconut sapling at the Weliketiya Estate. Ministers and Members of Parliament also joined the President in planting coconut saplings.

Parallel to the national programme, all Ministries planted and distributed coconut saplings islandwide. The President inspected a coconut plantation that had been cultivated using the ‘Eli Weti’ method and organic fertiliser.

President Rajapaksa also inspected Organic Fertiliser Production Methods Appropriate for Coconut Cultivation, machinery, soil rehabilitation works aimed at increasing the productivity of existing coconut lands, water using methods, Intercropping, Model Seed Coconut Nursery, Coconut Pests and Diseases Institute, Exhibition Stalls of “Kapruka” Society Members, and the coconut plantations in the fall.

The President then went to the Coconut Research Institute in Lunuwila to inspect the Coconut Products and Coconut Milk Promotion Advisory Unit. In parallel with the programme, the President symbolically distributed coconut saplings and agriculture equipment to 15 beneficiaries at a ceremony held at the premises of the Coconut Research Institute.

Chairman of Chilaw Plantations Limited, Jude Perera, handed over to the President Rs 10 million from the company’s profits earned in 2020 to be deposited in the Treasury. (TR)

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