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Planters come forward to help double coconut production to 6 billion nuts per year

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With the soaring price of coconuts, the focus is now on doubling production from three billion to six billion per year.

A master plan in this regard has been developed by a world-renowned management consultancy company, which has branch offices in 140 countries, together with a team of 30 experts from different professional disciplines on the initiative of the government.

A Chartered Human Resources professional cum planter leading the team says the key attraction of the project is the per capita earning potential of smallholders. An average unit of cultivation is around five acres or two hectares.

The project will undertake the development of 50,000 hectares under the first phase with the aim of adding 750 million nuts to existing production. There are few different models for the farmer to select but all models have considered profit per hectare per annum through inter-cropping, bee keeping and fertigation using Israeli technology.

High-tech agricultural concepts have been used to increase farmer efficiency and to attract millennials to agriculture. The project is expected to go green with the support of renewable energy.

Considering the importance of accurate monitoring, the team is considering the use of satellite and drone technologies. A ‘one stop’ mobile app is to be developed so that all services required by the farmers or any of the stakeholders can be accessed without hassle.

The project is looking at developing a total extent of around 187,000 hectares ideally suitable for producing a minimum of 100 nuts per palm each year. Neglected paddy lands of about 50,000 hectares and another 87,000 hectares from the beach-front of the north are also earmarked for inclusion under the final phase of the project.

The entire production will be sent to five state-of-the-art (industry 4.0) coconut factories to add value for export to earn valuable foreign exchange for the country. The products will use Sri Lankan quality assurance mechanisms under the ‘made in Sri Lanka’ brand theme.

The PPP model used will give endless opportunities to those eager to invest in the project and all employees of the Plantations Ministry, CRI, CCB and CDA could become partners of progress of this nation-building initiative.

However, the bottleneck is in the production of quality coconut palms as the project may need about 40 million plants and lands between Sabaragamuwa and Jaffna, the planter says.

The Coconut Growers’ Association is keen to begin discussions on the proposed project early. Planters are motivated by the action-oriented leadership of the President and all state officials are offering unconditional support to get off the grounds this gigantic intervention.

The planter further said that all human resources professionals produced by CIPM await an invitation by the President and the government to get involved in nation-building opportunities. Unfortunately, not considering HRM aspects remain a major cause for drawbacks in the success of projects in Sri Lanka. This must be corrected from Parliament downwards as Right People Drive Business.

 

– Lalin I. De Silva,

Former Senior Planter and

Agricultural Adviser.

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COPE meets online for first time in its history

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by Saman Indrajith

The Parliamentary watchdog committee – COPE (Committee on Public Enterprises) created a history by meeting online for the first time ever on Thursday.

The COPE had Secretaries of three Ministries joining in with its committee meeting through online (ZOOM) becoming the second parliamentary committee holding an online meeting in the country.

Thursday evening’s COPE meeting chaired by its chairman Prof. Charitha Herath connected online with Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Dr) H. S. Munasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Industries W. A. Chulananda Perera and, Secretary to the Ministry of Public Services, Provincial Councils and Local Government J. J. Ratnasiri via zoom technology.

The Environmental Audit Report on water pollution of the Kelani River was brought before the committee and the meeting held between the Chairman Prof. Herath, Ministers and Members of Parliament and secretaries and other officials continued without any technical hitches.

Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake said that facilities have been provided to hold meetings and discussions using online technology in two committee rooms in Parliament.

He said that Parliamentary officials had been working relentlessly for months to install the requisite technological tools and that the efforts have borne fruit and future Parliamentary meetings could be held online as a result.

The Committee on High Posts under the chairmanship of Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena also held a discussion with the new Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Kenya, who was living in Kampala, using online technology recently.

 

 

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Legatum Prosperity Index highlights SL’s development of education and healthcare sectors

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During the past decade

One of the key highlights of this year’s Legatum Prosperity Index was the improvement in Sri Lanka’s education and healthcare sectors over the past decade. These improvements were key to increase in prosperity within Sri Lanka, it was noted.

The London-based think-tank Legatum Institute launched the 14th Legatum Prosperity Index on November 17 2020.

The event commenced with the welcome address by the Chair of the Legatum Institute, Alan McCormick. 

Addressing the audience, the Chief Executive Officer of the Legatum Institute, The Baroness Stroud said that according to the Legatum Index, the global prosperity was at its highest level ever with 147 countries seeing their prosperity rise over the last decade.

Speaking at the launch, the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in the UK, Saroja Sirisena said that the end of the terrorist conflict in 2009 and the ensuing peace dividend, led Sri Lanka to achieve steady progress within the last decade.

She highlighted that the universal free education and healthcare policies of the country over seven decades are the pillars on which prosperity is built.

Director of Policy of the Legatum Institute, Dr. Stephen Brien explained to the audience as to how the Legatum Index is used to measure prosperity across the world.

The event was also addressed by the Founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in Africa, Dr. Mo Ibrahim, Biologist and Writer, Matt Ridley and Ambassador of Georgia in the UK Sophie Katsarava.

Legatum Prosperity Index is a global index that analyses the performance of 167 nations across 65 policy-focused elements, measured by almost 300 country level indicators and it is the only global index that measures national prosperity based on institutional, economic and social wellbeing.

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Quick Snacks and Party Recipes from North India with Sapna Mehra

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The Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre (SVCC), High Commission of India, Colombo, will be holding an online cookery demonstration on ‘Snack Time: Quick Snacks and Party Recipes from North India’ on December 5 at 11.00 am on its FACEBOOK page https://www.facebook.com/ICCRSriLanka.

This festival season, the Cultural Centre will present a virtual cookery demonstration by Sapna Mehra. Cooking has been a passionate hobby of Sapna since her childhood days. Growing up in a large family of 17 members, she was very keen on bringing variety to the dining table, and that’s when her cooking journey began, preparing simple wraps, and snacks.

She now specializes in cooking dishes from a variety of cuisines. Originally from Bangalore, she has lived in many cities across India and Sri Lanka, and at present resides in Delhi.

She has a Postgraduate degree in Marketing and has over 12 years work experience in the professional field.

All are cordially invited to attend. For more details, contact the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre on telephone No: 2684698 or Email: iccrcolombo2@gmail.com

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