PALMYRAH RESEARCH INSTITUTE: UPGRADING THE LIVELIHOOD OF PEOPLE INVOLVED IN TRADITIONAL PALMYRAH FAVOURED INDUSTRIES.
People of Sri Lanka are in the custom of carrying out a number of small industries from generation to generation. Together with the various types of small industries to improve their livelihood, they engage in agricultural activities also. In such a tradition, industries relating to Palmyrah are of very ancient heritage. In the northern part of Sri Lanka, even though Palmyrah favored resources can contribute much to the economic development of Sri Lanka, it appears that this field did not attract much significance. Therefore, Palmyrah favoured products remained limited among the other productivities. For example industries like tapping of toddy, an intoxicating drink from Palmyrah palms, producing sugar molasses, treacle, Palmyrah fruit pulp leather together with certain products of handicrafts woven out of strips of dried young Palmyrah leaves like large boxes (containers) mats and winnowing fans were all became confined.
Among the traditionally found resources of agricultural and marine favoured resources in the northern part of Sri Lanka, Palmyrah favoured resources also have become very important. However, at the beginning, no efforts were taken to improve the lives of people who were dependent on Palmyrah favoured products for the improvement of their livelihood. In the long run, along with the changes in social politics and economics, Palmyrah favoured resources were identified as a very economically important field to enhance the livelihood of people and to fulfill their basic requirements. Various necessary changes were undertaken relating to this. In the course of this development, palm products co-operative unions can be considered as a milestone.Various institutionalized enterprises undertaken through these unions to improve the livelihood of the people engaged in Palmyrah favoured Industries, which were registered in history.
In such a course of history, Palmyrah Development Board is an important organization. At the beginning, the Palmyrah Development Board was engaged only in a limited amount of research.Later the research was utilized in the right manner to get the maximum benefits from the Palmyrah palm, and those benefits were to be given to the people with evidences in a scientific manner in order to create awareness among people about Palmyrah resources. Sensing thenecessityof raising the standard oftheir Palmyrah production the importance of research was felt to be essential in taking the form of the Palmyrah Research Institute as a separate unit of the Palmyrah Development Board.
Palmyrah Research Institute
Palmyrah Research Institute was rehabilitated and opened in the year 2012 by the Ministry of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprises Development with the financial help of the government of India and the government of Sri Lanka has started functioning with a new radiance and splendor. At present the Palmyrah Research Institute is functioning with a renewed vigor performing many successful activities according to specified objectives.