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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2555

A common delicacy turns luxury

By S.H.Moulana

It is absolutely impossible to think of any Sri Lankan curry without coconut milk and this common delicacy affordable for all has now turned a luxury.

String-hoppers without ‘pol sambol’ are something totally unthinkable but now we are forced to find a substitute.

Coconut price in Sri Lanka has gone up from Rs.100 to Rs. 125 per nut. In a desperate move towards tackling the shortage of coconuts and the skyrocketing of its prices, the government has permitted the private sector to import coconut kernels, official sources in Sri Lanka said.

According to a survey, the coconut yield has dropped to 2.5 billion nuts per month at present from 3 billion during the past five years.

However, it is learnt that the CDA has taken measures to replant coconut and implement disease prevention programs as well as new plantations.

Coconut powder from the kernel is a largely used item in the pastries and there is a real demand for Sri Lankan product in the gulf.

A 7 kg bag of coconut powder which was sold at Saudi Riyals 80 (Rs. 3200) few weeks ago has now shot up to Saudi Riyals 100 (Rs. 4000).

Now two other countries have come into the market with competitive prices, India and Vietnam.

Although the whiteness in Sri Lankan product is preferred by the pastries the price remains the minus point for competitiveness.

As India, Kenya and China are giving a stiff fight for Sri Lankan tea especially after the ‘beetle saga’ in Russia, coconut also will face a similar competition from many countries.

We hope Sri Lankan government will focus on the country’s agriculture, without wasting money in building airports and ports in isolated places and patronized by none.

- Asian Tribune -

A common delicacy turns luxury
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