The Chairman of Horana Plantations PLC (HP Plc), Anthony A Page has expressed caution regarding legislation requiring the replanting of two percent of land extent.
“Replanting has been an integral part of our strategies. However, we should be cautious about the mandating, via legislation, the replanting of a specific percentage of the land regardless of other important considerations such as the existence of low-yielding areas, lack of long-term funding and other economic factors,” the Chairman told shareholders presenting the firm’s Annual Report 2011 – 2012. He noted that it is important that all stakeholders, including policy-makers, recognize the issues and develop a viable model for replanting as an overwhelming priority for the long-term sustainability of the Industry. Meanwhile, according to HPL Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, R. Casie Chitty in order to minimize the adverse effects of its main crops the Company had decided to embark on planting of oil palm commencing from year 2013.
“A nursery has been established for this purpose and we intend planting around 500 hectares during a five (5) year period. As part of HP PLC’s diversification program, the company continues to invest in its Cinnamon cultivation project.He said that the Sri Lankan Cinnamon continues to be the best in the world and is a highly lucrative crop given the high prices.
“It commands in the world export market. During the year under review 12.2 ha of cinnamon was in production,” the CEO said. The company continued its accelerated Rubber replanting program in 2011/2012 and planted one hundred and sixteen (116) hectares of Rubber during the course of the year. Twenty-five (25) hectares of tea were also planted during the year.