The felling of coconut trees is banned with immediate effect. Minister Jagath Pushpakumara said the Gazette notification to this effect will be issued soon.
The Minister pointed out that he expects to send the related Gazette notification immediately suspending the felling of Coconut trees under the Coconut Development Act No. 46 of 1971, sans a permit from the Regional Manager of the Coconut Development Board.
The Minister was speaking to the media in Colombo today. He asserted that more initiatives are on the cards to control the price of coconut. He referred to the success of the programme mooted to provide coconut to consumers at low prices for the festive season with the concurrence of the Coconut cultivation Board. Coconut is being sold at concessionary rates in Colombo and in the suburbs. The Minister pointed out that the Coconut Cultivators Organisation had opted to provide nuts to the Coconut Development Board. Coconut production dropped considerably due to the dry climatic condition and the diseases that effected plantations. Another reason attributed was the increase in the production of Coconut oil. The Government has decided to launch a project to plant four million seedlings countrywide next year.