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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2525

Modernization and Reactivation of Thickkam Palmyrah Distilleries

Colombo, 30 June, (Asiantribune.com):

Palmyrah sector contributes significantly to the livelihood development of the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka. Due to the three-decade old war, this sector has been neglected and the palmyrah toddy tapping community which is an under-privileged community with high incidence of poverty has further suffered due to non-functioning of the Thickkkam palmyrah distilleries in Jaffna.

During the toddy season (February to August), the sap flow is very high and the excess toddy produced has been wasted resulting in non-realization of economic benefits to the tapping community.

The Thickkam distilleries was established in 1984 to ensure the excess toddy is converted into vinegar, surgical spirit, arrack, wine and ethanol and other money spinning activities which has high market demand both locally and internationally said Mr.V.Sivagnanasothy, Secretary, Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs.

There are over 7,500 members in the Palm Development Cooperative Societies in the Northern Province. Due to the conflict and the resulting neglect of maintenance, the distillery plant and machineries were severely deteriorated and became outdated and non-functional.

This lead to reduction in the quality and increase in the production cost of distillery products.

The Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs D.M. Swaminathan tabled a Cabinet Memorandum to reactivate the distilleries with modern plants and machineries at an estimated cost of Rs.112.5 million and this was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers on 28th June 2016 said the Secretary of the Ministry Mr.V.Sivagnanasothy.

It is expected that this modernization and reactivation of the Thickkam distilleries which was a long felt need of the toddy tapping community and the Palm Development Cooperative Societies has been realized.

This investment and the intervention will create a very high impact on the palmyrah sector and specially to the toddy tapping low income community to uplift their income earning opportunities and livelihood development said Mr.V.Sivagnanasothy, Secretary of the Ministry.

- Asian Tribune -

Mr.V.Sivagnanasothy, Secretary, Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs.
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