Nestlé Lanka’s signature community development programme, the Nestlé Coconut Plan was expanded recently, benefiting 500 rural families in the Central Province. Conducted for the seventh year running in collaboration with the Coconut Cultivation Board of Sri Lanka (CCB), the programme supports 4,500 home-growers with hybrid coconut plantlets and other resources with the ambition of enhancing coconut cultivation in Sri Lanka. This programme has also taken measures to train beneficiaries on best practices of coconut cultivation by establishing model farms in Nikaweratiya, Kebithigollawa, Aralaganwila, Horowpathana, Kanthale and Aranthalawa, with the seventh and latest model farm launched in Kandalama.
Sharing her thoughts on this public-private partnership, Chairperson of the Coconut Cultivation Board, Mrs. Madhavi Herath said “I am filled with immense pride and gratitude as we expand the Nestlé Coconut Plan even further to support more rural families. Over the years, this worthy initiative has been instrumental in encouraging coconut cultivation in non-traditional coconut growing areas and has served as a platform for sharing knowledge, which has helped improve cultivation techniques, address challenges, and explore new avenues for coconut cultivation.”
"Our long-running coconut development programme stands as a testament to our unwavering commitment to improve coconut cultivation in Sri Lanka. As the largest exporters of Coconut Milk Powder in the country, I am proud to be able to support home growers in different parts of the country, in addition to the thousands of farmers we procure from. Together with the CCB and our Nestlé Coconut Plan families, we will continue to unlock the true potential of this invaluable crop by adopting best practices, including regenerative agricultural practices which are also good for the planet. We take great pride in this programme, which is striving towards self-sufficiency in coconut cultivation, whilst improving livelihoods and creating a prosperous future for the local coconut industry as well as the economy" said Mr. Bernhard Stefan, Managing Director of Nestlé Lanka.
Nestlé has operated in Sri Lanka for over 115 years. The company supports the livelihoods of more than 8,000 medium and large-scale coconut farmers through procurement, in addition to its Coconut Plan beneficiaries, contributing billions to the local coconut industry. The company has consistently enhanced the well-being of rural communities.
Even during the extreme volatilities experienced in the last couple of years, we continued to buy coconuts, paying out a staggering Rs. 6 billion and Rs. 6.8 billion in 2021 and 2022 respectively, to procure over 90 million fresh coconuts. Through its untiring efforts, the company also generated Rs. 14.3 billion in export earnings in 2022, contributing positively to the Sri Lankan economy.
Featured Photo Caption : From left to right – Distribution of coconut plantlets and fertilizer to a beneficiary (Presentation party from left to right: Mr. Bandula Egodage, Vice President – Corporate and Regulatory Affairs, Nestlé Lanka; Mrs. Radhini de Costa, Assistant Director – Communications, Nestlé Lanka; Mrs. Madhavi Herath, Chairperson, Coconut Cultivation Board of Sri Lanka; Mr. Bernhard Stefan, Managing Director, Nestlé Lanka and Mr. Krishantha Wickramasinghe, Deputy General Manager – Coconut Cultivation Board of Sri Lanka)