According to the predictions made by the local weather department as well as the international weather departments that the current El Nino climate situation may further develop in the upcoming yala season of this year, there is a possibility that other crops as well as coconut cultivation in Sri Lanka will be severely affected.
Taking this matter into consideration, the Minister of Agriculture and Plantation Industry Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera instructed the officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and Plantation Industry recently (05) to implement a joint program in order to protect coconut cultivation in Sri Lanka.
We will have to face a severe drought in the upcoming yala season, especially during the development of the El Nino climate change process. Especially during the El Niño process, there is a chance that the rainy season will receive excessive rains and the drought conditions will become extremely severe during the Yala season.
Due to this, in order to minimize the impact of El Nino climate change on the coconut cultivation in this country, digging coconut pits and protecting the moisture in the coconut plantations, as well as covering the roots of coconut trees with coconut husks, will enable them to face the drought to a certain extent.
According to the current observations, it is essential to prepare at least 16 specially prepared coconut pits per acre of coconut land. The technology for preparing these special coconut pits is to be provided by the Coconut Development Board.
The government has allocated an amount of 300 million rupees for the programs implemented to save coconut cultivation from El Nino climate change. 360,000 coconut saplings are also prepared to be planted.
The Minister of Agriculture and Plantation Industry Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera instructed the Coconut Research Institute to start a program to inform the farmers engaged in coconut cultivation regarding the rescue of coconut plantations from the impending drought.
For this purpose, the Minister informed that the Coconut Development Authority, Lunuwila Coconut Research Institute as well as the Coconut Development Board should work together and provide them with the necessary technical knowledge to protect private sector plantations.
A discussion on this matter was held last Friday at the Ministry of Agriculture and Plantation Industries. The Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture Mr. Janaka Dharmakirthi and other high officials of the Ministry as well as heads of institutions dealing with coconut cultivation were also present.
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