Coconut experts here to boost industry

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BY BEN BILUA

TWO coconut specialists are currently in the country to help develop and assist the coconut sector in its economic development aspirations.

Mr Lasantha Wickramasekara, who is an activated carbon specialist, and Dr Priyantha Wijewardane, a leading scientist with specialisation in the coconut sector – both from Sri Lanka, return from Gizo this week.

Mr Wickramasekara and Dr Priyantha’s trip to the country was made possible by the Honourary Consul of Sri Lanka to Solomon Islands.

In a statement, Mr Kutila Pinto from the Sri Lankan Consulate in Honiara said Mr Wickramasekara and Dr Priyantha are in the country to assist in reviewing the current framework, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the industry.

He adds that these two experts will develop a platform to promote and provide awareness on methods that would expand the current usage of coconut tree to resources owners and also develop positive micro-economic conditions for entrepreneurship and employment.

Mr Pinto said Mr Wickramasekara and Dr Priyantha will be visiting provinces to meet and train landowners who have coconut tree assets on how to maximise their yield.

He said Honourary Consul of Sri Lanka to Solomon Islands is looking at bringing in resourceful experts to help grow the coconut industry in the country.

“I’m strongly committed to continuously explore ways in which I could assist Solomon Islands better its current economic situations with the assistance of sustainable natural resource utilisation,” Mr Pinto said.

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