Gliricidia now a national crop for energy use
The government recently approved a proposal to declare Gliricidia, a tree used for fuel wood, as the country’s fourth national plantation crop after tea, rubber and coconut. Under this, government plans are being drawn up to develop around 500,000 acres with Gliricidia cultivation.

The Gliricidia tree is commonly grown in many villages and estates for fuel wood and fencing purposes. According to estimates, energy generation from this fuel wood source would be in the region of 500 megawatts, Plantations Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa told an international conference in Colombo last week. The responsibility of fulfilling the state’s objective in Gliricidia plantation will be handled by the Coconut Cultivation Board until a proper research agency – like the Tea Research or Rubber Research Institute is established.

Just like tea, Gliricidia is not an indigenous plant. Brought from Mexico some 300 years ago, it is one of the most useful plants and has multiple uses like using the stems for fuel and the leaves as fodder for animals. The government has said it would seek donor assistance to develop this crop.

Back to Top  Back to Business  

Copyright © 2001 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. All rights reserved.