The Coconut Cultivation Board (CCB) has decided to suspend the planting of coconut in the Matara district temporarily to curb the spread of leaf-rot disease.
Transport of coconut saplings from Matara to other districts has banned and instructions were already issued to police to take action against those violate the regulation, the Board said.
The Board says over 150,000 coconut palms in Matara district were attacked by the blight and instructions were given to the cultivators in a special gazette notification to remove the coconut trees affected by the disease, without permission.

Lakshadweep Islands' coconut industry tops in productivity and output of copra and coconut oil. However, growth of the industry has been stunted by the lack of allied manufacturing units and effective market delivery system. Coconut is the lifeline of Lakshadweep, the Indian archipelago comprising of 11 inhabited and 25 uninhabited islands, with highest copra and coconut oil production in the world, according to a top official of the Coconut Development Board.

Miscreants felled about 100 fruit-bearing plants, including over 50 coconut saplings, at a farm in Vaddy-Merces. The incident, which is believed to have occurred in the wee hours of Friday, became known only in the morning when the daughters of the owner, Anthony Pereira, went to the farm. Though the exact reason behind the incident is not known, Mr Pereira and his family suspect that the incident could be linked to a tenants' association, of which Mr Pereira is the vice chairman.

Red palm weevil is the most destructive pest of coconut. The adult weevil is reddish brown in colour with a life span of 70-130 days. The female weevil lays its eggs in soft tissues of young palms and in the wounds present on the stem or leaf stalk. The larval period ranges from 36-78 days. Stem infestation The wounds in the stem region attract the weevil for egg laying. The grubs on hatching enter through the wounds and damage the trunk by tunnelling inside. Brownish black viscous fluid oozes out from the damage spot on the trunk.

Coconut Development Board (CDB) will promote a new technology that controls pests in coconut trees.

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