Sri Lankan coconut producers are reeling from a freefall in price for their commodity, quoting prices of between  Rs (SL) 3,000 to Rs. (SL) 3,500 per thousand nuts, down from Rs (SL) 11,000 in early 1999.

As a result, producers are resorting to various cost cutting methods, including abandoning fertilizer, which has soared in price.

An official government committee had been appointed to explore the problem in depth. Sri Lankan press reports have quoted a Provincial Council Member as saying that a person needed three coconuts to get the price of a loaf of bread today.

By Swineetha Wickramanayake, correspondent