Sri Lanka to axe over 400,000 coconut trees
COLOMBO (English.news.cn) -- The Sri Lankan government has decided to axe over 400,000 coconut trees to prevent the spreading of a coconut disease called "blight" (phytoplasma), which has reduced the country's coconut yield by over 45 percent. "We detected the disease in 2006 and it is now spreading fast in several districts in the south," Coconut Research Institute (CRI) Director Chithrangani Jayasekara told reporters on Thursday.
Coconut is a major ingredient of daily diet of tropical Sri Lankans, with each person consuming over 110 coconuts annually. The island currently has 450,000 hectares of coconut land, yielding 2,522 million coconuts every year. Over 80 percent of the nuts are consumed locally and the rest are exported as copra and coconut oil. More>>