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Research Proposal For Tea Production in Sri Lanaka.

Research Proposal For Tea Production in Sri Lanaka.

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Published by: neelacksha on May 28, 2009
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Bachelor of Commerce (Special) Degree Program2
Research ProposalFor Tea Production in Sri Lanaka.
International Economics
Prepared byD.M.N.S.W. DISSANAYAKECM/2006/033
Faculty of Commerce and ManagementDepartment of Commerce and Financial ManagementUniversity of Kelaniya
Tea production in Sri Lanka
, formally Ceylon, is of high importance to the Sri Lankaneconomy and the world market. The country is the world's third largest producer of tea and theindustry is one of the country's main sources of foreign exchange and a significant source oincome for laborers, with tea accounting for 15% of the GDP, generating roughly $700 millionannually. Sri Lanka was the world's leading exporter of tea (rather than producer) with 23% of the total world export in 1995 but has since been surpassed by Kenya. The tea sector employs,directly or indirectly over 1 million people in Sri Lanka and in 1995 directly employed 215,338on tea plantations and estates. The central highlands of the country, low temperature climatethroughout the year, annual rainfall and the level of humidity are more favorable geographicalfactors for production in high quality tea. The industry was introduced to the country in 1867 byJames Taylor, the British planter who arrived in 1852.
Pre-Tea era
Cinnamon was the first crop to receive government sponsorship in Ceylon, while the island wasunder  Dutch control.During the administration of Dutch governor Iman Willem Falck, cinnamon  plantations were planted in Colombo, Maradana,and Cinnamon Gardensin 1769. The first British governoFrederick North prohibited private cinnamon plantations, thereby securingmonopoly of the cinnamon plantation for theEast India Company.However, an economic slump in the 1830s in England and elsewhere in Europe affected the cinnamon plantations in Ceylon.This resulted in them being decommissioned byWilliam Colebrookein 1833. Finding cinnamonunprofitable, the British turned tocoffee.By 1825 the Ceylonese already had knowledge of coffee. They started planting coffee as agarden crop and the first coffee plantation was started in Baddegama inGalle District. Althoughthis venture failed due unsuitability of area to the crop, George Bird became first to start plantingcoffee on a commercial scale. After Bird begun his coffee plantation inSinghapitiya,Gampola  governor  Edward Barnesalso started a plantation in Gannoruwa. The demand and high price in European market for coffee fueled the rush of coffee planting. Investors flocked to Ceylon fromoverseas and around 100,000 ha of rain forest was cleared to pave the way for coffee plantations.The term, "Coffee rush", was coined to describe this developing situation in 1840.In 1869 thecoffee industry was still thriving in Ceylon but shortly afterwards, coffee plantations weredevastated by a fungal disease called
or coffee rust, better known as "coffeeleaf disease" or ‘coffee blight’.The planters nicknamed the disease "devastating Emily"when itwas first identified in the Madolsima area in 1869. Production dipped rapidly as the disease set inand every effort failed to revive the coffee. Of 1700 coffee planters only 400 remained in theisland as the rest left for their home countries. The coffee crop died and marked an end of an era
when most of the plantations on the island were dedicated towards producing coffee beans.CocoaandCinchonawere experimented as alternative crops but failed due to a bug,
. In the 1870s virtually all the remaining coffee planters in Ceylon had switched to the production and cultivation of tea because of the devastating
 Hemileia vastatrix
fungus.By theyear 1900, only 11,392 acres were still under coffee cultivation.
Foundation of tea plantations
In 1824 a tea plant was brought to Ceylon by the British from China and was planted in theRoyal Botanical Gardens inPeradeniya for non-commercial purposes. Further experimental with tea plants brought from AssamandCalcutta in India were brought toPeradeniyain 1839 through theEast India Companyand over the years that followed. In 1839 the Ceylon Chamber of  Commercewas also established followed by the Planters' Association of Ceylon in 1854.In 1867,James Taylor marked the birth of the tea industry in Ceylon by starting a tea plantation inLooleconderaestate Kandy in 1867. He began the tea plantation an estate of just 19 acres(77,000 m
). In 1872 he started a fully equipped tea factory in the same Loolecondera estate andthat year the first sale of Loolecondra tea was made in Kandy. In 1873, the first shipment of Ceylon tea, a consignment of some 23 lbs, arrived inLondon.Sir Arthur Conan Doyle remarked on the establishment of the tea plantations, “…the tea fields of Ceylon are as true a monument tocourage as is the lion at Waterloo”.Soon enough plantations surrounding Loolecondera such as Hope, Rookwood and Mooloyasituated to the east and Le Vallon and Stellenberg to the south began transforming into tea plantations and were amongst the first tea estates to be established on the island.

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