Oil Palm the Golden Crop
Oil palm is a unique tree with higher economic value. It is a perennial plant belonging to family Palmae and sub family Cocoideae. It is scientifically named as Elaeis guineensis. Oil palm covers 2% of total cultivated lands in the world. 22% of the world’s total oil requirement is fulfilled by oil palm and it is the most widely produced edible oil in the world. Palm oil is an edible product derived from the oil palm fruit. Palm oil is produced by many developing countries involved in this industry to get rid of poverty.
M. Jerry Wales an European Planter, commenced the cultivation of Oil Palm in Sri Lanka in 1968 at Nakiyadeniya estate by planting 68 Oil Palm plants covering an extent of 0.50 Ha. Since 1968, Oil Palm cultivation has rapidly increased throughout the Low Country Wet Zone of Sri Lanka as it was seen as an economical and profitable crop.
Since 1968 Oil Palm cultivation has been going through various changes in Field Management practices such as:
- Nursery Management
- Replating techniques and agronomic practices
- Harvesting operations and agronomic practices in mature area
- Development in human skills
Each and every management practice mentioned above plays a significant role to achieve the optimum bunch weight and the number of bunches resulting in higher yield per ha (YPH). Watawala Plantations has achieved the highest YPH amongst the Regional Planation Companies (RPCs) during 2012/13.
The significant achievement of YPH was a result of following the company’s approach in “doing things differently for improved results” and accordingly we have set a vision for “2015” through a road map to achieve a YPH of 20 tonnes during the year 2015
Company expects to reach this achievement of excellence, through motivation, developing the human capital and by the process of participatory management.