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Gotabaya Bans Palm Oil Imports And Wants Trees Uprooted
Posted 6,April

By Chaveendra Dunuwille

In Local News

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With the aim to “free Sri Lanka from oil palm plant and palm oil consumption” President Gotabaya Rajapaksa six months prior gave instructions to gradually  ban the cultivation of oil palm plants across the island. Following these  instructions the president has issued various directives to authorities to ban the  import of palm oils into the country.  

Several publically listed regional plantation companies such as Watawala,  Namunukula, Elpitiya and Agalawatte had grown oil palm plants locally as over  the last decade the important tax on edible oils has continued to increase. This  increase in tax has contributed to a significant increase in profits for coconut  plantation owners. 

While all future planting of oil palm trees has also been banned the companies  are required to uproot 10% of the plants through a phased process. These oil  palm plants are to be replaced by either rubber or environmentally friendly crops. 

The actions of the government seem to follow the trend of increased action  against palm oil and oil palm plants across the world. Malaysia and Indonesia  have placed the trees on the chopping block as the plantations have caused  significant clearing of forests. However experts are yet to decide whether the  plant is more environmentally damaging compared to other mono-crops.