Children’s Day was celebrated at the beginning of October across the world in various ways but perhaps the best way a parent or a grandparent can mark the day in a meaningful manner is to give a child a gift that grows and safeguards the environment as well.
Sadaharitha Plantations Chairman Sathish Navarathna explained that commercial forestry is an excellent investment that offers long term returns that go far beyond the benefits of regular savings. “Commercial forestry teaches a child that it is an ethical and socially responsible investment opportunity that brings high returns when the trees are ready for harvesting at maturity,” he said. “In fact the investment thrives and grows as the child grows up and when he or she comes to an age when funds are required for higher education whether in Sri Lanka or overseas, trees which were planted eight or more years previously will reap a much-needed harvest to safeguard the child’s future,” he added.
Over 26,000 customers have invested in Sandalwood, Teak, Mahogony, Rambutan or Agarwood plantations. Sadaharitha Plantations now maintain over 2,000 acres of commercial forests and won the Gold Green Award for their contribution to protecting the environment. Afforestation is the most economical way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that lead to global warming.
Sadaharitha maintains its plantations under ISO 14001 principles. In addition, the company maintains natural forest patches whenever possible with the objective of conserving biodiversity while protecting and enhancing the landscape in the afforested area. In order to prevent any negative effects to the environment from chemical fertilizers, Sadaharitha produces over 500MT of compost annually within its plantation areas. Over 350 plantation workers with green employment opportunities and innovative forest-based income generation avenues, especially through the Agarwood Home-garden concept that has proved to be a boon for the villagers resident in the surrounding areas, helping to minimize poverty.
Agarwood is relative to the local endemic ‘Wallapatta’. The species is mainly found in the humid lowland forests in the southwest region. The elevation of this region is lower than 1,000m and the annual rainfall is 2000-3000mm while the average temperature is 25 to 27 degrees-Celsius which is very much suitable to grow Agarwood in Sri Lanka. International demand for Agarwood is increasing as its resin is used to produce the most expensive of perfumes in the world enhancing its export potential for Sri Lanka.