Sri Lanka on Monday (April 5, 2021) banned the import of palm oil and new palm saplings. And this is an amazing step that will surprise edible oil producers. Periodically asked to uproot existing palm trees.
Palm oil imports and the number of plantations have been increasing in recent years in Sri Lanka, a leading producer of coconut oil.
Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said in a statement the aim was to “make the country free from oil palm plantation and palm oil consumption.”
Environmentalists say palm oil production has led to widespread deforestation and damage to ecosystems.
Sri Lanka imports around 200,000 tons of palm oil every year, mainly from Indonesia and Malaysia, traders estimate.
“Those companies and entities which have done such (palm oil) cultivations shall be required to remove them in a phased manner with 10% uprooting at a time and replacing it with the cultivation of rubber or environmental friendly crops each year,” the statement from president’s office said.
Sri Lanka’s palm oil industry has invested 26 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($ 131 million, $1=199.0000 Sri Lankan rupees) and planted about 11,000 hectares of palm in the country – more than 1% of the total area planted with tea, rubber and coconut, according to the country’s Palm Oil Industry Association.