International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Tea Smallholders in Sri Lanka: Issues and Challenges in Remote Areas
Dr. Prasanna Perera

This study investigated the issues and challenges faced by tea smallholders in Sri Lanka. The smallholders are the largest contributors to Sri Lanka’s tea production. Smallholders have access to support from the tea Small Holders Development Authority and the Sri Lanka Federation of Tea Smallholders. The study finds despite there being state sponsored and independent support, smallholders in difficult regions have minimal access to these resources and they are unevenly distributed. A survey carried out among smallholders in Walapane elicits that access to tea extension services and other institutional support is limited. Case studies of selected farmers clearly demonstrate smallholders lack basic training in tea cultivation techniques, harvesting and sustainable agriculture. Further, the study finds a gap among market realities, production interests and government policies. This has resulted in low levels of productivity, leaf rejection, loss of profit, occupational hazards and environmental damage. Given the demand for high volumes of quality Sri Lankan tea, institutional support should take the challenges identified in the study into consideration and design inclusive strategies to reach small holders in an even manner.

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