Coconut trees in 20,000 acres destroyed in Trinco district

[TamilNet, Thursday, 06 November 2003, 04:25 GMT]
The Coconut Cultivation Board (CCB) Tuesday inaugurated its seedling distribution to coconut growers in the Trincomalee district from its nursery after about twenty years. "Since 1983, coconut trees in more than twenty thousand acres of land have been destroyed in the two-decade-old war in the Trincomalee district," said the CCB’s Chairman, Mr. Lincoln Fernando, addressing the inaugural event held Tuesday in the premises of the CCB office at Kumburupiddy.

The CCB’s nursery is located at the Vipulananda model village in Kumburupiddy, about 22 km north of Trincomalee town.
Trinco Coconut seedling distribution
Kumburupiddy cocnut nursery with "Poorna Kumbam"


Parliamentarians of the Trincomalee district, Messrs R. Sampanthan, K.Thurairetnasingham, and the Trincomalee district political wing head of the LTTE, Mr.S.Tilak, addressing the inaugural event said a regional office of the Coconut Cultivation Board should be opened in the Trincomalee district to assist coconut growers who have immensely suffered due to the war, sources said.

They said that prior to 1983, thirty five thousand acres of land in the Trincomalee district had been brought under coconut cultivation. Now only 8 to 10 thousand acres of land are found with coconut trees and that too in a neglected state due to war.

Trinco Coconut seedling distribution
Kumburupiddy coconut growers association President, Mr.Kanapathimuthu, in front of the coconut nursery


"We have now planned to increase the land under coconut cultivation in the next year by another 2500 acres in the district. We have a plan to increase the acreage under coconut cultivation to fifteen thousand acres in the future," said Mr. Fernando.

Mr. Fernando handed over the first seedling to a representative of the Kumburupiddy rural development society.

Mr. Sampanthan inaugurated the distribution of subsidies to coconut growers in the area by handing over cheques. The Project Director of the German Agency for Technical Corporation’s project ( GTZ-ISFSP) in the Trincomalee district, Ms Rohini Singarayer, handed over a consignment of agricultural implements valued at about 100,000 rupees to the CCB for its coconut development activities in the district.

At the commencement of the event the guests planted coconut seedlings in the fifty-acre plot of the CCB at the Kumburupiddy village.

Trincomalee District Government Mr. Gamini Rodrigo, LTTE Kumburupiddy organizer Mr.Sivakumar, CCB regional manager Mr.W.Gunawardene, CCB Assistant general manager Mr. D. Rajapakse and the Trincomalee Coconut Development Officer also participated in the event.

Mr. Fernando said the nursery had been rehabilitated after the signing of the ceasefire agreement between the government and the LTTE. On his assumption as chairman of the CCB, he first visited Trincomalee in the northeast province and found some farmers doing onion cultivation in a portion of the land at the Kumburupiddy coconut nursery, and the remaining portion overgrown with shrub jungle. Immediately he, without going to the approval of the Colombo, ordered the rehabilitation of the nursery as the soil was found in the area to be highly suitable for coconut cultivation and he instructed the board officials in Trincomalee to raise seventy five thousand seedlings as a start.

Mr. Fernando said the next coconut seedling farm is to be opened in the LTTE-held Kilinochchi area on five acres of land next month. He agreed to the request made by the LTTE political wing head at a discussion in Kilinochchi to raise two hundred thousand coconut seedlings next year to be planted in the northeast province. He said five coconut nurseries had been established, two in Jaffna and three in Mannar. CCB has planned several coconut development activities in the northeast that would be implemented in due course.

Ms.Singarayar also spoke at the event..


Trinco Coconut seedling distribution
Trincomalee parliamentarian Mr.Sampanthan hands over cheque to a woman coconut grower in Kumburupiddy village under subsidy scheme, who lost every thing in the war. Parliamentarian Mr.K.Thurairetnasingham is also seen in the picture



Trinco Coconut seedling distribution
Coconut Cultivation Board Chairman Mr.Lincoln Fernando hands over first seedling to a representative of the Kumburupiddy rural development society



Trinco Coconut seedling distribution
Guests ( L-R) Parliamentarians Mr.Sampanthan, Mr.K.Thurairetnasingham, Coconut Cultivation Board Chairman Mr.Lincol Fernando, GTZ-IFSP Trincomalee Project Director Ms Rohini Singarayar, LTTE Kumburupiddy political head Mr.Sivakumar and CCB Regional manager Mr.W.Gunawardene arriving at the Kumburupiddy nursery for the event

 

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