Sri Lankan coconut industry faces collapse without fertilizer

The coconut, Sri Lanka’s main traditional export product, is facing imminent collapse if the much needed fertilizer is not made available. If this does not happen by 2025, Sri Lanka will have to import coconuts.

According to Colombo University Emeritus Prof. of Bio Chemistry Deepal Mathew, who is also an Executive Member of the Coconut Growers Association, next year is the critical year, after which there is no point in supplying fertilizer. Without it, the coconut estates in Sri Lanka will see forestation as the coconut plant requires a period of 2-3 years to produce yields after application of fertilizer.

The first signs are set to be evident in 2023 when a crop drop of about 50 per cent is expected since fertilizer has not been applied in the past year, he complained. In 3-5 years the crop will start tapering then there is no way back.

The yield in 2022 was 3.2 billion nuts and it is expected that if fertilizer is not provided now the crop will fail and by 2025 Sri Lanka will be compelled to import coconuts even for domestic consumption.


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