The celebration event organized to mark the 50th anniversary of the Coconut Cultivation Board was held at the premises of the Coconut Cultivation Board located at the Denzil Kobbekaduwa Mawatha, Koswatta, Battaramulla on 30.03.2022 with the participation of (Dr.) Ramesh Pathirana, the Minister of Plantation and Mr. Arundika Fernando, the State Minister.

The Coconut Cultivation Board was established during the United Front Governance with the leadership of the former Prime Minister, Mrs. Sirimavo R.D. Bandaranaike and Dr. Colvin R. de Silva who had been the first Minister of Industries, took the initiative for this purpose.

Coconut plants were also distributed among cultivators in the area in view of further promoting coconut cultivation.

This occasion was hosted by Mr. Ravindra Hewavitharana, Secretary, Ministry of Plantation, Mr. Tissa Hewavithana, the Secretary to the State Ministry and some other officers.

The Kulubadu Mandhiraya and the new Information Centre constructed by the Department of Export Agriculture in the area of Ukuwela, Matale was declared open to the public on 29.03.2922.

A new variety of cardamom named Ranweli Yasas Sri was introduced and spices related cultivators in the area were awarded with subsidies. 

This event was graced by the Hon. Minister of Plantation along with Mr. Lalith U. Gamage, the Governor of the Central Province, Hon. Janaka Wakkumbura, the State Minister of Development of Minor Export Crops Promotion, Mr. Ravindra Hewavitharana, Secretary, Ministry of Plantation and some other officers.

In view of revitalizing the coconut cultivation in the country, coconut and king coconut were cultivated instead of paddy cultivation in a fallow paddy field in the area of Balapitiya, Kosgoda, Karijjapitiya and Wellangoda Amuna, in relation to revitalizing the fallow paddy fields by recultivation and cultivation of coconut and king coconut by using Sojan method. 

The export of coconut and the related products has generated the foreign currency value amounting to US$ 836 million in the previous year alone and its main objective is to earn a sum of US$ 1.5 million by exporting coconut and related products during the following period of five years.

This event was graced by the Hon. Minister of Plantation along with Mr. Ravindra Hewavitharana, Secretary to the Ministry, Mr. Tissa Hewavithana, Secretary to the State Ministry, the political authorities of the area and the officials of the Ministry.

 

 

There was a meeting between (Dr.) Ramesh Pathirana, Minister of Plantation and His Excellency Tan Yang Thai, the High Commissioner of Malaysia for Sri Lanka and Maldives held on 22.03.2022 at the Ministry premises.

Discussions were held on further strengthening the economic relations between the two countries in view of further ensuring the bilateral relations during the present period aftermath the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Attention was drawn towards making Sri Lanka, one of the finest tourist destinations in the world, more and more attractive to the Malaysian tourists and setting up an amicable environment for the Malaysian investors to arrive and invest in the country.

This meeting was also graced by Mrs. Khairee Shahdila, the Deputy Chief of the Malaysian Diplomatic Mission and Mr. Ravindra Hewavitharana, Secretary, Ministry of Plantation.

 

The introductory program on the model agroforestry pilot project in the tea and coconut cultivated lands in the country sponsored by the Government of the Netherlands was conducted at the Waters Edge premises, Battaramulla on 18.03.2022.

This model agroforestry pilot project is funded by the Government of the Netherlands and is implemented under the supervision of the Coconut Research Institute, Tea Research Institute, University of Peradeniya and the Wageningen University of the Netherlands. 

This event was hosted by Her Excellency M.S. Anouk Baron, the Deputy Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Sri Lanka, Mr. Michelin Van Erkel, the Agricultural Advisor of the Government of the Netherlands, Mrs. Maaike Snel, the Project Manager, Mr. Ravindra Hewavitharana, Secretary, Ministry of Plantation, Dr. Saranga Alahapperuma, the Chairman of the Coconut Research Institute along with the Heads of Kurunegala and Maskeliya Plantation Companies.

A meeting between the Minister of Plantation, Dr. Ramesh Pathirana and His Excellency the French Ambassador to Sri Lanka, EH Eric Lavertu was held recently at the Ministry, 11th floor,  Sethsiripaya, Battaramulla.


There was a lengthy discussion on strengthening the economy of rubber small holders in the country using modern technology.
The French Ambassador informed the Minister that this project has been named as “Sutti” and which is currently being implemented in Indonesia.
Accordingly, training will be provided to 6000 rubber smallholders in Monaragala area on how to apply the modern technology in rubber cultivation. The assistance of Michelin Sri Lanka will also be sought for this purpose.


The project will be implemented with financial and technical assistance from the French Ministry of Economy.
A Memorandum of Understanding will be signed between the Ministry of Plantation and Ksapa in France in the future for this project.
The Secretary to the Ministry of Plantation and the Director General of the Rubber Development Department also participated in the discussion.

“Government doesn’t want to increase prices. However, we have to face that harsh reality” said the Minister of Plantation, Dr. Ramesh Pathirana in Galle recently.
He was speaking at the event of distribution of agricultural equipment to tea societies in Baddegama, Galle.
The event was jointly organized by the Ministry of Plantations and the Tea Small Holdings Development Authority.
Speaking further, the Minister said,
“Currently, the tea industry is facing with a huge labor shortage. Therefore, if the futuristic paddy and tea industry is not mechanized, this industry will face with a major crisis. Therefore, the necessary equipment is provided to pluck tea leaves and plant seedlings. In the future, we will provide more modern technological equipment required for this industry”.
Tea leaf harvesting machine in particular needs to be popularized as soon as possible. Plucking is usually done weekly. But when plucking with this device, the plucking has to be done every two weeks. Therefore, many people are reluctant to pluck leaves using the machines. However, the Tea Research Institute has shown that plucking leaves every two weeks does not reduce the yield. We want to overcome the shortcomings and create a better day for the plantation industry. The present government will not hesitate to provide all possible assistance for the purpose. Our tea harvest this year is 320 million kilos. Registering an increase of 40 million kilos compared to the last year.
Successful tea cultivation requires fertilizer as well as tall shade plants and short shade plants. It needs water facilities as well. The Tea Small Holdings Development Authority will provide free shade trees and short shade plants required for tea cultivation.


Revenue from tea, coconut, cinnamon and rubber related exports have been increasing over the past two years. This year, we will get the highest coconut and rubber income for the first time in the history of Sri Lanka. Cinnamon export earnings are expected to reach US $ 600 this year.
We are working to further enhance productivity which has earned national wealth for 150 years. Although there is some inconvenience at this time, it will all be fine in the future. A transformative change in tea cultivation will be expected next year.


At present, the prices of every commodity in the world have gone up. The prices of crude oil, cement, sugar and steel have all gone up. No government wants to increase prices. But we have to face that harsh reality. We are sorry about that. The country has lost US $ 10 billion in foreign exchange from tourism alone in the last two years. Therefore, the amount of dollar in the country is low. But in the next two or three months, all this will be okay. So, stay more confident with the government.
Mr. Isuru Dodangoda, Member of Parliament for Galle District, Chairman and Members of the Baddegama Pradeshiya Sabha, Baddegama Divisional Secretary, and officials of the Tea Small Holdings Development Authority and representatives of tea societies were also present at the occasion.