As one of the world’s largest exporters of coconut milk powder, we indirectly purchase close to 90 million coconuts a year from 6,600 Sri Lankan farming families. In 2019, our total payout to local suppliers for coconut came to Rs. 2. 6 billion.
The Nestlé Coconut Plan
Former Minister of Plantation Industries, Hon. Navin Dissanayake, handing over a coconut plantlet to a Nestlé Coconut Plan farmer
The Nestlé Coconut Plan is a coconut development programme that we launched in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Coconut Cultivation Board (CCB) in 2016. It aims to help secure coconut cultivation and rural farming livelihoods, to address the issue of irregular coconut supply in the country.
Nestlé Coconut Plan farmers at a training programme conducted by the Coconut Cultivation Board
Up until now, the Plan has supported 3,000 Sri Lankan coconut farmers and outgrowers with 19,000 coconut plantlets of a special hybrid variety, that is more resilient to adverse weather and crop disease.
Model coconut farm in Kebithigollewa
Participants are also given free fertilizer and better access to new technologies, best practices, quality planting materials, and professional agronomical support. Together with the CCB, we have even set up model farms to help our farmers and outgrowers benchmark best practices. As many coconut growers struggle without a steady supply of water for their crops, two of our model farms have been outfitted with a tube well and micro-irrigation system. We are also encouraging intercropping to help participants grow other crops with a faster yield, to help sustain their income until the coconut plantlets mature and bear fruit. The first batch of coconut plants is expected to mature in 2021.
The Plan encourages and supports coconut cultivation by smallholder rural farmers as well as outgrowers in their home gardens, both within the traditional coconut triangle and in new experimental coconut growing areas. The new areas are located in the North-Central province and previously conflict-affected Northern province, which research and testing has shown to have good potential for successful coconut growing. All plantlets in the programme currently enjoy a 95 - 100% success rate.
The Nestlé Coconut Plan is currently separate to the company’s commercial sourcing of coconut and is focusing purely on developing coconut supply to meet domestic consumption needs.
6 steps to grow coconut at home
Here are some simplified tips from our training manual that you can use to grow your own coconut at home.
Click here to learn more.