Legislation to prevent fragmentation of coconut land above five acres


Navin Dissanayake

By Hiran H.Senewiratne 

The government is to bring new legislation to revise the  land fragmentation policy, which would necessitate the obtaining of permission from the authorities before fragmenting coconut lands above five acres, instead of currently applicable ten acres, Minister of Plantation Industries Navin Dissanayake said.

"Under the new legislation, to fragment coconut lands above five acres, a land owner would have to obtain permission from the local government authorities and other line ministries/institutions, to prevent unnecessary land fragmentation in coconut growing areas, Minister Dissanayake told The Island Financial Review.

He said due to unnecessary land fragmentation, fertile coconut land in the Coconut Triangle are being affected and therefore, it is one of the reasons for the increasing coconut prices. The measure would also prevent future importation of coconut. 'Currently, removing and cutting down of coconut trees have been restricted in the Kurunegala district and we will introduce that rule to Puttalam district as well, he said.

'Since many development projects are happening in the Coconut Triangle, covering Colombo Kurunagala and Puttalam, it is the need of the hour to promote the coconut industry in the North and East, where they are planning to cultivate 100,000 acres, Minister Dissanayake said.

"We are planning to create a new Coconut Triangle in the Northern and Eastern areas to increase coconut production and prevent importation of coconut in the future, the minister said.

‘Coconut is one of the major plantation crops in the country ,which accounts for approximately 12 percent of all agricultural produce in Sri Lanka. Total land area under cultivation is 395,000 hectares and about 2,500 million nuts are produced per year.

‘The country's coconut cultivation is currently declining due to the fragmentation issue, which has become a lucrative business at present. However, President Maithripala Sirisena had promised to ban the blocking out and sale of coconut lands".

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