Sri Lanka’s coconut cultivation to receive boost from Saudi fertilizer
The Sunday Morning: The Coconut Development Authority (CDA) plans to import fertilizer from Saudi Arabia in order to increase Sri Lanka’s coconut cultivation, The Sunday Morning Business learns.
Speaking to The Sunday Morning Business, CDA Chairman Prof. Roshan Perera said: “We haven’t utilized fertilizer for the last two-and-a-half to three years, which is the main cause for the low coconut yield. The country has 450,000 hectares of coconut land and we anticipate a poor yield rate if we continue in this manner.”
The CDA and the Saudi Government have been in preliminary talks to import fertilizer for the cultivation of coconuts during the past few weeks through the Sri Lankan Consulate in Saudi Arabia.
Of the 250,000 MT of coconuts needed, the present supply of coconuts is between 20,000-30,000 MT.
In order to improve the coconut harvest, which generates a revenue of about $ 820 million through exports, the CDA has urged the utilization of fertilizer once the fertilizer issue is solved.
“People have been discouraged from using fertilizer due to it being unaffordable,” Perera said.
The CDA has reported that the north revitalization plan for coconut cultivation is proceeding well and has produced positive outcomes as people tend to produce their own fertilizer from poultry farm waste and other compost waste.
The three Districts of Jaffna, Mullaitivu, and Kilinochchi produce 100 million coconuts annually. The CDA intends to provide more licenses to encourage the establishment of new coconut plantations in these regions to attract more foreign investment.
“We are planning to secure some coco peat orders, particularly based on the coconut husk market. Recently, a delegation came to visit us. We therefore hope to develop in that direction and provide our exporters with opportunities to market these products in Saudi Arabia,” Perera said.
Sri Lanka’s plantation industry is fast becoming a hotspot for business/investment opportunities. The government of Sri Lanka has taken many steps to boost the country’s key plantation sectors, especially the traditional plantation crops like coconut, rubber and tea. Among the crops, coconut is one of the key export crops that has a growing demand. Sri Lanka’s coconut industry is actually grappling at the moment trying to meet the growing demand in the local as well as foreign markets. All this has resulted in expanding opportunities in Sri Lanka’s coconut industry. Foreign businesses/investors could explore the growing opportunities in developing the country’s coconut industry to meet the growing demand, which includes supplying requirements including machinery and equipment for the industry. Foreign businesses could also look at forming partnerships or joint ventures with local businesses engaged in the coconut industry with the aim of expansion.
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