“Those up there” in a different way: Sri Lanka’s coconut minister gives press conference on palm
He dares to go high: The Sri Lankan Minister Arundika Fernando invited journalists to an unusual press conference. In his garden he had climbed a coconut tree. The crazy action has a serious background.
The action seems as unusual as the title of the office: Sri Lanka’s Minister for Coconuts, Fishtail Palms, Palm Fruits and Gum Production, Arundika Fernando, climbed a palm tree in his garden yesterday, Friday – and answered questions from the local media from above . And picked some coconuts. He wanted to point out the changes in the coconut market.
The prices of coconuts have risen significantly, said Fernando from the palm tree. A single nut would now cost 100 rupees, which is about 46 cents. He cited the increasing demand for coconut products on the world market as the reason for the increase. But the workers would earn less. Fernando said they would also have to receive at least 100 rupees if they climbed one of the palm trees.
More wages for palm climbers
Although the coconut is one of the island nation’s most important export goods, production cannot be kept up. Because of the poor pay, there are not enough workers willing to climb the palm trees to pick them.
With his climbing campaign, Fernando not only wanted to advertise his plan for better pay and the industry, but also to show off a new harvest helper: The minister had not climbed up the palm with muscle power, as is traditionally customary, but had let himself be carried up by a climbing device. The minister reported that the machine was developed by an inventor from the city of Warakapola.
Along with textiles, tea and precious stones, coconut products are Sri Lanka’s most important export products. The island nation is the fourth largest coconut producer in the world, and the native variety Thembili is one of the tastiest because of its sweeter taste. However, despite higher prices, the citizens of Sri Lanka should not be denied it, according to the minister: No matter how far the price goes up, one will not start importing the nuts themselves, Fernando promised down from the palm.
Those:Daily News, News Wire