According to experts in the field, due to the expansion of the coconut related product industry manufacturing desiccated coconut, virgin coconut oil and coconut milk, it had impacted in the rise of coconut prices in the market.
The domestic coconut requirement is around 3000 million nuts annually and around 60% to 70% of it is directly consumed, said the Coconut Development Authority.
As a result only around 20% – 30% is left over for the industrial sector.
At present there has been a huge demand for coconut kernel related products which has also resulted in the revival of the coconut related industrial sector.
However, the local production is insufficient to meet the industrial demand and as such the Plantations Minister Navin Dissanayake obtained Cabinet approval to import coconut kernels from the Philippines to meet the demand of the industrial sector.
The local industrialists had obtained licenses to import 78,000 tons of coconut kernels for the coconut kernel based industrial use.
Accordingly, while the first shipment arrived today, from next week, shipments of coconut kernels will arrive continuously.
These coconut kernels will be used to manufacture products according to international specifications which would be re-exported.
This would facilitate the development of the coconut based industrial sector and bring in much needed export revenue.
As a result the local coconut industry is also expected to benefit while it would also enable the coconut prices to be stabilised.
This would also resolve the issues that had arisen due to the high demand in the market.