Nov 18, Colombo: The Minister of Agriculture and Plantation Industries Mahinda Amaraweera advised the Smallholder Tea Development Authority and the Tea Development Authority to promote the high density cultivation method and new technology in tea cultivation in order to increase the yield of tea leaves in tea plantations.
Minister Amaraweera on Thursday made an observation visit to the high density tea plantation in Welipanna Peragaswatta.
Under the guidance and funding of the Smallholder Tea Development Authority, this seven and a half acre plantation, which has been cultivated using the high density cultivation method as well as the sprinkler water drop technology, has yielded a very successful harvest.
While 6500 tea plants are planted per acre according to the normal tea cultivation method, 13000 tea plants can be planted under the high density cultivation method.
Also, with the traditional method, only 300 kg of tea leaves can be harvested from one acre, but under the high density method, a high yield of 1500 kg of tea leaves per acre can be obtained.
Also, because new technical equipment can be easily used for picking tea leaves, human labor is not required. Therefore, growers can increase their income by five times. This intensive tea cultivation can be done with minimum amount of water and minimum amount of fertilizer.
The Smallholder Tea Development Authority and the Tea Development Board have currently implemented 52 such model tea cultivation projects.
Also, financial assistance of 1 million rupees per acre has been given to those growers on a non-payback basis.
By the high density planting method, a maximum yield can be obtained from a minimum amount of land and a high quality tea yield can also be obtained. Therefore, the minister instructed the chairmen of the tea authorities to encourage the tea growers to introduce this high density tea cultivation system to other growers and to take steps to expand these activities in 2024.
As stated by the President Ranil Wickramasinghe in his 2024 budget speech, the minister said his aim is to add new technology to the agriculture and plantation sector in 2024 and also mentioned that all officials should be committed to get the maximum yield from the cultivated land.
The Minister of Agriculture and Plantation Industries Mahinda Amaraweera instructed the Smallholder Tea Development Authority and the Tea Development Authority to promote the high density cultivation system and new technology in the tea cultivation in order to increase the yield from tea plantations.