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Policies And Programmes For Inclusive Growth And Sustainable Development Of Coconut Industry

At present coconut industry in Sri Lanka operate under the governance of  Ministry of  Coconut Development and Janatha Estate Development. Coconut Development Act No. 46 was passed in 1971 and accordingly Coconut Research Institute, Coconut Cultivation Board and Coconut Development Authority were established. After establishing these institutes, many important regulations have been enacted for  the betterment of  the industry. Plant Protection Ordinance (1981), Plant Protection Act No 35 (1999), Coconut Land Fragmentation Control Act No. 20 (2005), tariff regulations for  substitute oils, CESS charges for  export commodities are some of  those important policy measures adopted by the government for  the industry.

Coconut sector being the US S 950 millionworth industry for  Sri Lankan economy, contributes financial and non-financial benefits to the country. Demand trends for  the coconut based products shows the positive signals for  most of  the non-conventional export products. The present demand for  coconut based products have increased significantly than the potentials of  the country. Reasons for  this demand is realization of  medicinal value of  coconut, use of  coconut water as sport drink and the developing trend of  usage of  organic foods or green foods. Sri Lanka with the understanding of  importance of  the coconut industry, several measures have been taken to fulfill the local and foreign demand.

Considering the importance of  coconut to its people and the economy of  the country, a separate ministry, the Ministry of  Coconut development and Janatha estate Development was established for  the coconut sector of  Sri Lanka. This new ministry was established in year 2010 placing the vision as to be “Sri Lanka: the world best coconut cultivator ” and  with the mission o f  “to enhance the productivity, profitability and sustainability of  the coconut industry>  in accordance with MahindaChinthana and MahindaChinthana -  Vision for  Future. To fulfill the vision and mission new ministry form ulated a strategic plan for  the period of 2010 to 2016.

This strategic plan mainly focused  to increase nut production to the level of  3650 million nuts by 2016 with ephasison: a. Restoration and maintenance of  soil fertility of  coconut lands, b. Restricting of  highly productive lands from  fragmentation, c. Replanting with high yielding cultivars with resistance to drought and pest and diseases, d. Promoting intercropping and animal husbandry, f  Infilling to maintain optimum palm density in coconut lands, g. Reducing the senile plantation to the level of  5% by introducing accelerated replanting program and h. Reduce wastage through promoting to establish producer based organizations in village level. And then improve the coconut based interventions and finally with the target of  all the sectors to contribute to achieve Millennium Development Goals and green development status.

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