President's policy statement: Palm oil cultivation banned
Addressing the inaugural session of the ninth Parliament today (20), the President announced that he would prohibit the cultivation of palm oil, among other measures to aid the plantations sector.
He presented his policy statement at the Parliament after ceremonially declaring the ninth Parliament open today (20).
He said that the income from industries such as tea, coconut and rubber are currently unsatisfactory.
"We will commence operations to develop tea plantations, while assisting small and medium scale tea estate owners as well. Due to the shutting down of tea factories, tea estate owners have encountered a number of difficulties. We will restart these factories and eliminate existing irregularities simultaneously encouraging the export of high quality tea products. We will reclaim the global brand name we held for Ceylon Tea." he stated.
Accordingly, the planting of coconut saplings will be encouraged, and to enact a reasonable price for rubber, local rubber industrialists will be encouraged to utilise their own products.
He further stated that the cultivation of palm oil trees will be stopped completely.
Furthermore, the production of export crops, such as pepper and cinnamon, will be promoted, and opportunities to generate substantial foreign exchange will be provided to farmers through value addition to agricultural products and export measures.