For Love of Coconuts:

Sri Lanka Cracks down on Pests and Disease


Coconut interior
Courtesy of Wikipedia

I have loved coconuts for as long as I can remember. I remember when I was a kid, my brother fought with a coconut for weeks, trying to tear away the husk to get to the nut inside. I remember that he found it on the ground and our Grandfather told him it was old and no good. He ended up taking it home and did eventually get the husk off. He was able to get the coconut water out but it was warm and tasted awful. The coconut meat inside was good and we ate that, but it was very firm; it was hard to eat on our teeth.

Coconuts are not natural to the Americas but were probably transported here by seafarers long before Christopher Columbus sailed in 1492. Their growth is pretty much limited to specific tropical latitude between 26 degrees south and 26 degrees north. They’re grown in sandy soil in coastal areas but not in the interiors of Africa and South America. The origins of the coconut are probably in Oceana; Australia and Polynesian islands seem to have the oldest fossils of coconuts.

Sri Lanka is around fifth in the world of coconut production, but the numbers have been falling due to pests and diseased trees. Ironically America doesn’t even come into the top ten even though this nut is prevalent throughout Florida and Hawaii and a few other states in the south. I was surprised to find that Hawaii didn’t bring us into the top ten market. Most of the coconut production in the world is from the Philippines, Indonesia and India.

The Sri Lankan President established a ministry to fight the disease and pests that have decimated the coconut crops and this has been met with amazing success. Under investigation the ministry has marked over 365000 trees as being affected by “Weligama Coconut Leaf Wilt” disease and removed almost a third of them. Mites and red beetles also attack the coconut trees and this problem has been addressed as well. Three thousand traps were distributed to farmers and over 60,000 beetles were removed as a result of trapping.

In order to offset the economic trouble affecting the coconut farmers the Ministry provided other means of support such as livestock and seeds to grow other crops. It will take time for Sri Lanka to come back from the coconut growth problems but clearing the country of the diseased trees is a step in the right direction.

I think it’s great how the various countries try to help their people with pest problems, especially since the problems affect us all. Termite treatments in Mesa are provided by licensed professionals that understand the interconnection between us and our neighbors. When you have a termite inspection in your home it increases awareness in your neighborhood. Annual termite inspections are the first step in termite prevention.





Scottsdale AZ –

Termite Control Arizona

6501 East Greenway Parkway #103
Scottsdale AZ

(480) 582-1085