Indonesia has agreed to help Sri Lanka in expanding palm oil cultivation in the country. An agreement has been inked to this effect during recent discussions held by Plantation Industries Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe with the Indonesian officials.
As a result Indonesian officials have agreed to provide expert knowledge and new palm varieties with higher yields to Sri Lanka. According to an agreement between the two countries Indonesia is set to provide 22 palm varieties and 200,000 seeds to produce saplings.
They have also agreed to train agricultural field officers and provide necessary technical knowledge to expand cultivation.
At present Sri Lanka imports 160,000 metric tons of palm oil annually at the cost of Rs 14 billion. Sri Lanka’s palm oil production at present is 17,000 metric tons annually.
As palm oil usage is on the increase the Government expects to save the foreign exchange through spread of palm oil, according to the Ministry.
With Indonesian help the Minister expects to increase oil palm production in the country in excess of 100,000 metric tons annually in the near future.