Nestlé Lanka launches Coconut Development Programme to develop the Sri Lankan coconut industry

Donates 10,000 coconut plantlets to 2,000 coconut farming families; Develops 2 model coconut farms

To Press Releases listDec 2, 2016

Honourable Navin Dissanayake, Minister of Plantation Industries presenting a coconut plantlet to a Nestlé coconut farmer. Looking on are Suresh Narayanan, Head of Nestlé South Asia Region; Shivani Hegde, Managing Director for Nestlé Lanka and Bandula Egodage, Nestlé Lanka Assistant Vice President – Corporate Affairs and Communications

In celebration of its 150th anniversary worldwide and 110 years locally, Nestlé launched another big commitment to help develop the local coconut industry. In collaboration with the Sri Lanka Coconut Cultivation Board, the company is donating 10,000 coconut plantlets across 150 acres to 2,000 coconut farming families and developing 2 model coconut farms to showcase best practices.

The Coconut Development Programme is one of the many public commitments Nestlé has made to the local community to enhance their quality of life. The programme was inaugurated by Chief Guest, Honourable Navin Dissanayake, Minister of Plantation Industries at a model farm planting ceremony in Nikaweratiya. 150 Nestlé employees together with the coconut farmers, planted coconut plantlets in the presence of respected clergy; the honourable minister; chairman and members of the Coconut Cultivation Board; Suresh Narayanan, Head of Nestlé South Asia Region; Shivani Hegde, Managing Director for Nestlé Lanka and other Nestlé officials.

Shivani Hegde, Managing Director for Nestlé Lanka planting the first coconut plantlet. Looking on are Suresh Narayanan, Head of Nestlé South Asia Region; Bandula Egodage, Nestlé Lanka Assistant Vice President – Corporate Affairs and Communications; Honourable Navin Dissanayake, Minister of Plantation Industries and Kapila Yakandawala, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Coconut Cultivation Board

Said Honourable Navin Dissanayake, Minister of Plantation Industries, “I truly value Nestlé’s strong and continued commitments to the social and economic development of the country. Nestlé is a company that has heavily invested behind the development of the local dairy and coconut industries over the years. Their significant investments have uplifted the lives of those communities whose livelihoods revolve around these industries. With the government’s intervention, we will strongly support Nestlé and the private sector in their efforts to develop the local coconut sector.”

Said Suresh Narayanan, Head of Nestlé South Asia Region, “Nestlé Lanka has a long and rich history with Sri Lanka’s dairy industry, having worked together with the government and local farmers since the early 1980s. I am happy to witness the company embarking on another great initiative to strengthen the coconut industry as well.”

“2016 marks the first time Nestlé is directly engaging with its coconut famers. Our Coconut Development Programme will undoubtedly contribute positively towards Sri Lanka’s development and empower our coconut farmers to grow crops that will benefit them, enhancing their quality of life, thereby developing the coconut sector.” Said Shivani Hegde, Managing Director for Nestlé Lanka.

Nestlé will distribute its coconut plantlets to not just its existing coconut farmers within the traditional coconut triangle but also famers located in areas outside of the triangle with good potential for coconut growing, including Wariyapola, Nikaweratiya, Rasnayakapura, Padaviya, Vavuniya and Kebithigollewa.

Employees of Nestlé Lanka at the model farm ceremony in Nikaweratiya

The company will introduce a new ‘model farm’ concept by planting approximately a 100 plantlets each in 2 model farms in Nikaweratiya and Kebithigollewa with the aim of offering farmers an ideal coconut farm design to benchmark best practices and high quality coconut farming standards.

The Coconut Development Programme will also include intensive technical assistance by the Coconut Cultivation Board including soil tests, provision of manure and other pre and post planting assistance.

Coconut is staple to Sri Lankan cuisine and a significant contributor to the country’s economy via exports. Nestlé is one of the largest exporters of coconut milk powder in the world. Using fresh, high quality coconuts and manufactured exclusively at Nestlé’s Kurunegala factory, its Maggi Coconut Milk Powder is directly exported to over 50 countries in the world, supplying Nestlé and other companies worldwide. The company purchases coconuts indirectly from 5,000 rural farming families through its suppliers, offering them a sustainable source of income.

Nestlé’s contribution to the local coconut industry in 2015, as payment for procuring fresh coconuts for its products, came to LKR. 2.6 billion.


Read the press release in Sinhala

Read the press release in Tamil