Sri Lanka’s fertilizer shortage causes coconut crisis

Tropical palm tree with yellow coconut against the blue sky. Travel to Sri Lanka. Wide photo.

Sri Lankan media reported on Friday that, owing to two years of fertilizer shortages, the island nation has produced 400 million fewer coconuts this year – leaving the local industry in crisis.

According to official data, Sri Lanka harvested 3.35 billion coconuts in 2022; that figure has decreased to 2.95 billion in 2023.

The country’s Coconut Research Institute has said that plantations need to be fertilized every year – and that many palm trees have been damaged by the continuing dearth of fertilizers.

Sri Lanka’s agricultural woes are partially attributable to a six-month ban on mineral fertilizer imports that was introduced in April 2021 by the then-president, who wanted to promote organic farming, as well as to more recent global supply shocks.

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