President Gotabaya Rajapaksa inaugurated the 'Dorin Dorata Kapruka' National Programme to plant 4 million coconut saplings at the Weliketiya Estate, Bujjampola, Dankotuwa, today (10).
The programme is expected to enhance the annual coconut crop to 3,600 million nuts per year from the current level of 2,800 million nuts. To achieve this goal, the Ministry of Plantation, the State Ministry of Coconut, Kitul, Palmyra and Rubber Product Promotion and Allied Industrial Production and Export Diversification and the Coconut Cultivation Board are jointly organising the 'Dorin Dorata Kapruka' National Programme.
For a long time, Sri Lanka's name has 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” focused on the promotion of coconut cultivation and related products, to secure that position in the future as well.
It is expected to achieve the target of planting 4 million coconut saplings within the next year, and in view of that, one million coconut saplings will be given to Samurdhi recipients and another two million will be distributed under a subsidiary scheme and the remaining one million can be purchase by anyone who wishes to cultivate.
The President planted a coconut sapling at the Weliketiya Estate to mark the inauguration of this national programme. Ministers and MPs also joined the President in planting coconut saplings. In parallel to the national programme, coconut saplings were planted and distributed throughout the island by all the Ministries.
The President inspected a coconut land which has been cultivated according to the ‘Eli Weti’ method by using organic fertilizer.
President Rajapaksa also inspected the Organic Fertilizer Production Methods suitable 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 fallow paddy fields.
The President then visited the Coconut Research Institute, Lunuwila and inspected the Coconut Products and Coconut Milk based new products promotion Advisory Unit.
The President also symbolically distributed Coconut Saplings and Agriculture Equipment to 15 beneficiaries at a ceremony organised at the Coconut Research Institute premises in parallel to the programme.
The Chairman of Chilaw Plantations Limited, Jude Perera, handed over Rs. 10 million from the company's profits earned in 2020 to the President to be deposited to the Treasury.
Minister Ramesh Pathirana, North Western Province Governor A.J.M. Muzammil, State Ministers Arundika Fernando, Sanath Nishantha, Priyankara Jayaratne, MPs Ashoka Priyantha, Chinthaka Mayadunne, Secretaries to the Ministries and officials of line agencies were also present at the occasion.