The minister was speaking on the soaring prices of coconuts in Sri Lanka and all across the globe.
- Last Updated: September 19, 2020, 1:26 PM IST
FOLLOW US ON:
Press conferences, particularly from people in power, are an essential element to any democracy. But a press cpnference in Sri Lanka recently scaled new heights, quite literally, when the minister for Coconut, Fishtail Palm, Palmyra, and Rubber Product Promotion Arundika Fernando climbed a coconut tree to address the media on Friday.
Fernando was speaking on the soaring prices of coconuts in Sri Lanka and all across the globe. He told the media that the prices have spiked due to an increase in the demand of the coconuts globally.
The minister climbed the tree at his home garden in Dankotuwa with the help of a tree climbing machine, according to reports. The machine was manufactured by a person from Warakapola and was tested by the minister. Fernando said the machine will be released in the local markets in the coming months.
He plucked a few coconuts from the tree and said the workers climbing the trees to get the fruit should be paid Rs 100 for their labour. He also said that to provide coconut to the people at reduced prices, a programme is being prepared and will be released in the coming days.
Talking about the lack of workers for production of toddy and to pick coconuts, he said the coconuts will not be imported despite the surge in the prices.
Notably, Sri Lanka’s coconut industry is seemingly in crises as average coconut prices fell 1.54 percent to 52,794 rupees for 1,000 nuts at the second auction in September 2020. The highest price was 56,600 rupees for a 1,000, up from 56,000 rupees last week and the lowest is 50,000 rupees flat from 50,000 rupees at the auction conducted by Sri Lanka’s Coconut Development Authority on September 11, said a report in Economy Next.
The data showed that the export of coconut based products has risen in July. Battered by coronavirus crisis, the coconut prices fell as low as 38,215 for 1,000 nuts when auctions resumed on April 09 after a break due to the lockdown.