Coconut production to double to 6 bn nuts per year | Daily News


 

Coconut production to double to 6 bn nuts per year

Discussions are about to commence with the authorities governing coconut cultivation to double the nut production from 3 billion nuts to 6 billion nuts per year. The plan has been developed by a world-renowned management consultancy company who have their branch offices in 140 countries alongside with a team of 30 professionals from different professional disciplines on a response received by the Presidential Secretariat.

A Chartered Human Resources Professional cum planter who is leading the team has stated that the main attraction of the project is per capita earning potential of the smallholder. An average unit of cultivation is around 5 acres or 2 hectares. The project will undertake the development of 50,000 hectares in the first phase aiming at adding 750 million nuts to the existing production.

There are few different models for the farmer to select but all models have considered profit per hectare per annum through intercropping, beekeeping, and fertigation using Israeli technologies. High tech agricultural concepts have been used to increase farmer efficiency and to attract millennials to agriculture. The project is going to go green with the support of renewable energy.

Considering the importance of accurate monitoring the team is considering using satellite and drone technologies. A one-stop mobile app is to be developed so that all services required by the farmer or any of the stakeholders will be able to get the services attended to without having to waste time.

The project is considering developing a total extent of about 187,000 hectares ideally suitable for producing a minimum of 100 nuts per palm per annum. Neglected paddy lands of about 50,000 hectares and another 87,000 hectares from beachfront of the north are being considered to include in the final phase.

The entire production is planned to be sent to five state of the art (industry 4.0) coconut factories to add value and exported thus earning much needed foreign exchange into the country.

The products will be using Sri Lankan quality assurance mechanisms made in Sri Lanka brand theme. The PPP model used will give endless opportunities to whoever wants to invest with the project and all employees of the Plantations Ministry, CRI, CCB and CDA have been considered for retirement benefits. They could become partners of the progress of the nation-building initiative.

However, the bottleneck is in the production of quality coconut palms as the project may need about 40 million plants and lands between Sabaragamuwa and Jaffna are considered for the project. The coconut growers association is keen to commence discussions early. The Planters are motivated by the action-oriented leadership of the President and all state officials offering unconditional support to get off the grounds of this gigantic intervention.

He says that he is ever grateful to his company for letting him develop and launch the project. Further, he added that all Human Resources Professionals produced by CIPM await a call from the President and the government to get involved in nation-building opportunities. Unfortunately, not considering HRM aspects remain a major cause for drawbacks in project success of Sri Lanka. This must be corrected from parliament downwards. Right People Drive business.

The writer is a former senior planter and an agricultural advisor