There are only 37 fully matured Red Sandalwood (Pterocarpus santalinus) trees in the country, Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said.
The above fact was revealed following a discussion held with the Task force.
Red Sandalwood can be easily cultivated in our country but it has become a rare plant due to the difficulty of finding them for cultivation.
Therefore, a proposal was submitted to the Presidential Task Force for sustainable Economic through the Climate change mitigation.
During the discussions also revealed that, Aralu, Bulu required for local medicine and Nellie, Kohomba and Mee seeds also have to be imported from India at a cost of US $ 9 million annually with the use of the country's foreign exchange, the Minister said.
“Currently our country does not have enough Red Sandalwood plants. Most of the red and white sandalwood plants are imported from India. A mature sandalwood plant costs around Rs. 20 million. An average matured red sandalwood tree is 8-12 m tall and mostly grow well in the dry zone,” Minister Amaraweera said.
Addressing the discussion, Ayurvedic doctors said that a plan to plant 1,000 sandalwood saplings should be started and that they have already planted 4800 sandalwood saplings in various parts of the island. They also stated that the required seedlings could be provided for this purpose.
Accordingly, the Minister stated that the Ministry will take steps to select 1,000 places in the island and plant 1000 sandalwood saplings in those places. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)