Cabinet nod for plantation task force
• Another paper to promote coconut-based products abroad gets green light with aims to meet $ 1 b target
• Paper on revisions to land ownership of plantation workers rejected by Cabinet
The Government is to set up a task force to monitor progress of Regional Plantation companies under the supervision of the Plantation Ministry.
The Cabinet paper presented by Plantation Industries Minister Navi Dissanayake to set up a monitoring unit made up of graduates with at least two years of experience to visit RPC and carry out monitoring was approved by the Cabinet last week.
“A 10-member team will be set up who will visit the RPCs and report on the situation and monitor them. The Ministry will make sure that the team has access to all plantations and facilitate their work,” Dissanayake told Daily FT.
The monitoring work will focus on number of issues in the RPC, including its state and the management practices, agricultural practices and a number of other functions. Those hired for the job will be recruited on a two-year contract, the Minister said.
Another paper to revise ownership of land by plantation workers from freehold status outright ownership was however rejected by the Cabinet along with Dissanayake’s proposal to revise restrictions on selling such land.
Another proposal to recruit a marketing team capable of carrying out promotions of coconut based products in foreign markets was also approved by the Cabinet.
Although the Coconut Development Board currently has a marketing arm the unit does not have the capacity to carry out promotions abroad. The new setup is aimed at capitalising on the current popularity coconut based products have gained especially in western markets.
“Coconut has been identified as a super good, there is a huge demand for virgin coconut oil and other coconut based products and we want to capitalise on it,” Dissanayake said.
The Minister said that he aims to set up a similar operation to the system established to market tea.
“Capable marketers will want more than Rs. 100,000 as remuneration, but we will ensure that a few capable professionals are recruited for the job,” he said.
The Minister is hopeful of meeting the $ 1 billion target if the Coconut Development Board carries out marketing with aim of penetrating foreign markets.