Don’t expect to purchase fresh coconuts from Sri Lanka at any of our New Zealand supermarkets in the next wee while…

Hundreds of thousands of coconut trees are to be destroyed in Sri Lanka in a desperate attempt to prevent the spread of insect-borne disease.

The nation’s Coconut Cultivation Board (CCB) announced this week that 400,000 coconut trees in the Southern Province would be cut down in a bid to control the Weligama Coconut (leaf wilt) Disease.

The board said it would also fell all coconut trees in the Hambantota, Galle and Matara districts as well. While a coconut shortage was likely to follow, the board agreed, the trees had to be urgently destroyed to stop the fast-spreading disease.

Coconut growers will be paid Rs2000 (NZ$22) per tree as compensation.

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