The Greening Batticaloa initiative was begun in Sri Lanka’s eastern coast, a region which had experienced consecutive natural disasters in the past three decades, with the hope of restoring its lost green cover. We are planting 1 million cashew plants in this region through this project. Even if only half of these trees attain maturity, the revenue from the harvested cashew nuts could provide new livelihood opportunities for the local communities, thus, transforming the region ecologically and economically.
Batticaloa, a region in Sri Lanka’s East, lost a considerable portion of its forest cover due to a devastating cyclone in 1978, and the more recent Indian Ocean tsunami. This coupled with unsustainable deforestation practices had led to a further decline in the number of trees. Dilmah Conservation hopes to reverse this by planting 1 million cashew trees in the region with the support of the communities.
Selecting cashew trees, a highly adaptive and fast growing cash crop makes this reforestation venture profitable and more sustainable, as it brings revenue to the rural communities. Harvested and processed cashew nut is priced at nearly 3000 Sri Lankan Rupees which means even if only half the trees planted through this initiative survives, it could result in a turnover of 1 BN LKR annually in this region.