ECONOMYNEXT – Mahaweli Coconut Plantations Limited has achieved yields on its estate in the dry zone that are almost double that of Sri Lanka’s national average for coconut plantations, an official said.
Felix Fernandopulle, Managing Director of Mahaweli Coconut Plantations (MCPL), whose shares began trading on the Colombo stock exchange, said the firm’s crop in 2018 was 5.4 million nuts.
It has planted 95,000 coconut palms on its plantation of 1,350 acres in the north-central province close to the Dimbulaga rock temple with water supplied from the Mahaweli river.
The estate achieved a yield of 9,900 coconuts a hectare compared with the national average of 5-5,500 nuts a hectare, he said.
“The high yield may be because of our watering of the palms and also fertiliser,” he said, noting that the palms were also comparatively young, compared with aging palms on most other coconut estates.
Drip irrigation was used initially to water young palms which was new in the island at the time and then canals were cut through the plantation to bring water after they matured.
The company has planted the tall variety of palms as dwarf coconut palms, which were good for home gardens, do not thrive in the north-central province given the dry climate there, he said.
(COLOMBO, 07 June 2019)