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Tea Cultivation in Sri Lanka as a Legacy of the British Colonization: Impacts and Trends

Author:

A.L. Sandika

University of Ruhuna, LK
About A.L.
Department of Agric. Economics, Faculty of Agriculture
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Abstract

The structure of Sri Lanka’s agricultural sector had changed under colonization especially during the British era with the introduction of plantation crops. Coffee, Tea, and Rubber were recognized as prominent plantation crops introduced by the British. Tea as a plantation crop at present plays a significant role not only in the economy but also as a socio-cultural and political legacy. This paper, therefore, attempts to examine the tea sub-sector development with the time and to evaluate its performance as a lifestyle determiner, using secondary data under qualitative and quantitative methods that are applied to illustrate the results. With regard to the first objective, the year 1824 British brought a tea plant (Camellia sinensis)) from China and planted in the Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya. Experimental tea plants from Assam and Calcutta (India) were brought the year 1839. Regarding performance of tea sector, the contribution of tea for GNP has been increased significantly from Rs million 10,332 (1996) to Rs million 74,065 (2012) respectively. Area cultivation has also increased by 17% from 1996 (189,354 ha) to 2012 (222,000 ha) while production has increased by 25.5% from 1996 (258.4 million kg) to 2012 (328.4 Million Kgs). After 2007, Sri Lanka became the fourth largest tea producer. Further, export income has also been increased significantly from Rs million 32,537 to Rs million 180,429 by 454.5% in the respective time period. A number of Tea Small Holders in the year 2012 was recorded as 390,346. In this context, tea as a crop contributes to providing more than 1.5 million job opportunities directly and indirectly. Therefore, tea has been the identical and most famous export; for generations, it has been contributing to the Sri Lankan economy and plays a major part, even today, in the country’s fortunes.
How to Cite: Sandika, A. L. (2018). Tea Cultivation in Sri Lanka as a Legacy of the British Colonization: Impacts and Trends. Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities Review, 3(1), 65–70. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jsshr.v3i1.7
Published on 01 Mar 2018.
Peer Reviewed

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