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Plantation companies to lose Rs 500 mn. due to govt. vacillation on oil palm

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Plantation companies will sustain a cumulative loss of more than Rs 500 million within months due to policy inconsistencies and vacillation by the government on a well-regulated expansion of Sri Lanka’s oil palm cultivation, the sector’s apex industry association has warned.

The Palm Oil Industry Association (POIA) said 356,000 oil palm plants imported on the strength of a government decision to expand cultivation have been maturing in nurseries for more than three years, due to the government’s failure to address concerns arising from falsehoods and disinformation spread by misled activists and lobbyists with vested interests.

“About 40 per cent of these trees may already be unviable and we fear that the entire stock may have to be destroyed within the next two months, unless the government resolves this matter expeditiously,” POIA President Dr Rohan Fernando said.

The Palm Oil Industry Association represents cultivators as well as refiners, processors, manufacturers, marketers and sellers of palm oil and other products of the oil palm, who have cumulatively invested Rs 26 billion in the industry.

Sri Lanka has less than 11,000 hectares under oil palm – just over one per cent of the extents under tea, rubber and coconut – and plantation companies had been mandated to increase the total area under oil palm to 20,000 hectares under strictly-enforced guidelines that ensure the industry is environmentally non-invasive, before the government back-pedalled on the plan.

Fernando said the industry’s appeal to the government for permission to plant whatever viable trees are left in the nurseries, would enable the plantation companies to reduce the losses they are faced with and help increase local production of palm oil at a time when imports are being restricted to conserve foreign exchange. He said even if the entire stock of trees had been planted, the country’s extent under oil palm would only have increased by about 2,750 hectares.

“We are also aware that the government is looking at expanding coconut cultivation to which we have absolutely no objection, but experts have calculated that it would take at least 20 years to reach a point where the country’s edible oil requirements can be met by locally-grown coconut,” Fernando said. “There is also concern that coconut oil production is more costly and requires more land than oil palm.”

He pointed out that baseless vilification of the local palm oil industry had resulted in the country producing just 23,000 tonnes of palm oil per annum and the import of a staggering 220,000 tonnes of crude palm oil into the country each year, at a cost of approximately Rs 22 billion.

The government decision to encourage cultivation of oil palm and to increase the country’s extent under the crop to 20,000 hectares was backed by comprehensive conditions and guidelines that would ensure there will be no environmental degradation, no deforestation and no replacement of other viable crops, Fernando added.

However, lobbyists had used the haphazard, unregulated and rapacious early expansion of oil palm cultivation in countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia to create a baseless fear psychosis about the industry, disregarding the fact that Sri Lanka has cultivated less than 11,000 hectares in 50 years.



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Business

Seylan Bank offers amazing discounts for Avurudu

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With Avurudu just around the corner, Seylan Bank PLC is offering amazing discounts to customers purchasing daily essentials, electronics, clothing, gifts, and more. The bank with a heart will celebrate the New Year with “Ratatama Super, Avurudu Offers with Seylan Cards” and “Seylan Tikiri – Season of Gifts and Laughter”.

The bank with a heart, commenced these exciting offers and promotions to provide the best Avurudu experience to its customers young and old, and to reward them for their continued loyalty to the bank, in the spirit of festivity.

“At Seylan Bank, we want to make your Avurudu an unforgettable experience,” said Gamika De Silva, Assistant General Manager, Marketing and Sales at Seylan Bank. “These two promotions underscore our customer-centric approach which focuses on providing products and services that enhance the overall customer experience and convenience, adding value to your experience with the Bank with a Heart.”

The Bank has partnered with leading supermarket chains on selected promotions; with Keells offering 30% off on fresh meat during the weekends, Cargills providing 20% off on total bills during selected weekends, Glomark offering 20% off on the total bill on every Sunday for a limited time, Laugfs Super providing 20% off on a range of goods on every Monday for a limited time, and Premasiri Supermarket offering 20% off on vegetables & 10% off on fruits on every Wednesday & Thursday during the promotion period.

 

 

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OPPO launches Avurudu song to spread seasonal cheer

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OPPO recently launched an Avurudu jingle ahead of the Sinhalese & Tamil New year. Sung by OPPO brand ambassador & The Voice coach Umaria Sinhawamsa, the song also features popular personalities including actor& singer Gayan Gunawardena and choreographer Ramod Malaka& his dance troupe, Cool Steps.

The visual for the song has been shot in a scenic village atmosphere & features a host of New Year traditions of great cultural significance. The video also features the newly launched fan-favorite OPPO F19 Pro which is on offer during the season. On the first day of sales alone, the F19 Pro recorded a 200% increase in sales compared to its predecessor F17 Pro.

CEO of OPPO Sri Lanka Bob Li said: “This project helped us to immerse into Sri Lankan culture better. In keeping with the spirit of the season, evolving & upgrading, OPPO has launched two concurrent promotions: ERABADU WASI from 2-13 April & OPPO SERVICE WASI from 5 – 18 April.”

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SLIM elects new president and EXCO at 51st AGM

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The Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) held its 51st AGM, which saw the induction of its new President Thilanka Abeywardena, who will spearhead the Institute as its 43rd president. This appointment is a milestone in the history of the Institute as Ms. Abeywardena became the first ever female to hold the position of President.

The AGM was held on 7th April, 2021 at Marino Beach Hotel, Colombo. Both a new Council of Management as well as an Executive Committee were appointed during the meeting.

Thilanka currently holds the position of the CMO Lead, South East Asia Emerging Markets at Microsoft Sri Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. and leads marketing and communications across nine Asian countries; Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

The newly appointed Executive Committee comprises ten experienced marketing professionals:

SLIM is the apex body for Marketing in Sri Lanka and has been promoting marketing excellence and elevating the status of marketing since 1970.

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