Coconut experts from Sri Lanka complete visit

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Dr Priyantha Wijewardane right and Mr Lasantha Wickramasekara.

BY BEN BILUA

Dr Priyantha Wijewardane right and Mr Lasantha Wickramasekara.

TWO coconut experts from Sri Lanka have left the country after a successful week of awareness to farmers.

Procurement and logistics expert Mr Lasantha Wickramasekara and Dr Priyantha Wijewardane, a leading scientist with specialisation in the coconut sector, were both in the country for the past week holding meetings with farmers as well as leaders.

In an interview with Island Sun before their departure yesterday, Mr Wickramasekara and Dr Priyantha said they have met numbers of coconut farmers in Guadalcanal province, Central province and also paid a visit to Noro Port.

They also said that they have paid a visit to the Guadalcanal plane palm oil plantation.

Mr Wickramasekara and Dr Priyantha said fruitful discussions have been held with the premier of Western Province Wayne Maepio, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock as well as some members of Parliament.

They acknowledge officials and also farmers who took time to discuss and share ideas during their trip in the Solomon Islands.

Mr Wickramasekara and Dr Priyantha said they will compile and submit a proposal to their government for further assistance towards the country’s coconut industry.

Mr Kutila Pinto from the Sri Lanka Consulate in Honiara said Mr Wickramasekara and Dr Wijewardane’s visit is part of the Consulate’s help towards the country’s coconut industry.

He explained that the purpose of the visit is to assist the country in reviewing the current framework, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and treats of local coconut industry.

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

He said Honorary Consul of Sri Lanka to Solomon Islands is looking at bringing in resourceful experts to help grew 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.