Nestlé’s Coconut Plan has expanded to include 1,000 more rural farmers in Sri Lanka’s Horowpathana and Aralaganawila areas, providing them with 5,000 coconut plantlets. With this new expansion, the Nestlé Coconut Plan is to benefit a total of 3,000 Sri Lankan coconut farmers and outgrowers with 19,000 coconut plantlets and a number of other resources and support for successful coconut cultivation.
The Nestlé Coconut Plan is a coconut development programme that was launched by Nestlé and the Sri Lankan Coconut Cultivation Board in 2016. Its objective is to help enhance coconut cultivation in the face of declining coconut production, mainly resulting from extreme weather conditions and crop disease. It offers programme participants free hybrid coconut plantlets that are expected to be more resilient than the regular variety, regular technical assistance for coconut growing, and intense training and development programmes.
It is also establishing model farms to help farmers benchmark best practices, and encourages intercropping to help participants grow other crops with a faster yield, to help sustain their income until the coconut plantlets mature and bear fruit.
Nestlé Lanka is one of the world’s largest exporters of coconut milk powder. Made from Sri Lankan coconut, the product is exported to over 50 countries. It is manufactured in Nestlé’s state-of-the-art factory in Kurunegala, where the company procures around 90 million Sri Lankan coconuts every year; indirectly providing a livelihood to more than 6,000 local coconut farming families. The Nestlé Coconut Plan however is currently separate to the company’s commercial sourcing of coconut and focuses purely on developing coconut supply to meet domestic consumption needs.