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Sri Lanka's New Peacock Estate claim highest yield among large tea farms

Apr 22, 2015 05:01 AM GMT+0530 | 2 Comment(s)

PARTNERS  Giving workers proper recognition and treating them as partners has helped raise productivity.

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) - New Peacock Estate in Pussellawa, in Sri Lanka's central highlands has recorded a yield of 3,008 kilograms per hectare in 2014 elevating it to top position among large tea farms, the owning company said.

Elpitiya Plantations, a unit of listed Aitken Spence group said the 260 hectare tea estates the output came despite bad weather in the last four months of 2014.

"Undertaking of best practices in agriculture as emphasized by the management, making available the essential inputs to the tea fields at the right time and the commitment of all executives, staff and workers in the estate made the results possibl," said

Senerath Pahathkumbura, the General Manager in charge of New Peacock Estate and the Mid Country Cluster of Elpitiya Plantations, was quoted as saying that best practices in agriculture and inputs to fields at the right time plus worker commitment helped push up output.

"In keeping with the policy of the Company, our prime focus was to retain the workers available on the estate by giving them proper recognition and treating them as partners," Pahathkumbura said in a statemet.

"To spearhead this acknowledgement across all levels, a number of benefits have been included in addition to the current welfare and social activities undertaken at the estate.

"Some of these benefits include workers’name tags provided in all three languages and called by name; as well as uniforms for all workers, transport to workplace, rest rooms at all leaf weighing points with refreshment between meals during the rush cropping months."

The firm had also started mechanical plucking, motorized spaying of foliar nutrients and fungicide.

New Peacock Tea Processing Centre had produced about 1.2 million kilograms of CTC (cut-tear-curl) teas per years. The estate has ISO 22000:2005, Rain Forest Alliance, Ethical Tea Partnership (ETF) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certificates, which had helped draw buyers, the firm said.

Elpitiya Plantations has estates in upper, mid and low country regions. It now farms tea, oil palm and coconut. The firm also has a palm oil mill and operates mini-hydro plants.

When the estate was handed over by the state in 1997, it only had tea, the company said.

Sri Lanka's large tea estates, which were expropriated from the original owners by Sri Lanka's post-independent rulers, eventually became a burden to the tax payers eating up hundreds of millions rupees simply to pay salaries.

They were then privatized under a lease arrangement.

Sri Lanka's tea smallholders, who are mostly in the low country and who have freehold land have generally tended to have higher yields.

 


 

2 Comments

  1. SAMATH April 23, 07:18 AM

    It was really amazing to read this story of New Peacock Estate. And more over to read the comments of Mr. Mahinda Abeykoon.I was an employee of this Estate during the period 1973-1981 in the position of Field Officer. I was recruited to this Estate by Mr.Mahinda Abeykoon (The Manager) in the year 1973 on the recommendation of Mr. Gamini Bandaranayaka (The manager of Kandaloya Estate, Dolosabage) During my period of service at New Peacock Estate as the Field Officer my Division was well maintained and no doubt the yield per Hectare too was high. However I am yet proud to have served in this Estate which now claims to have the highest yield per Hectare among large Tea Estates. During my service in this Estate my Manager was Mr.Mahinda Abeykoon who was one of the Best Planters I could say and also the Assistant Managers namely Mr. Ajith Ratwatte & Mr Godfrey Jaywaweera. I will be so happy if I could contact Mr.Mahinda Abeykoon / Mr.Ajith Ratwatte & Mr. Godfrey Jayaweera through e-mail as now I am an permanent resident in USA

  2. Mahinda Abeykoon April 22, 08:33 AM

    Congratulations. I visited this property when I was in Sri Lanka two years back and found the estate in excellent condition, managed by a very knowledgeable and a dedicated person who worked to high standards. It was a pleasure to be taken round this Plantation by Mr.Pahathkumbura and to see the progress made over a long period of time since I left Sri Lanka. I was Manager of this Estate for a period of seven years when it belonged to a Company based in the UK. Even at that time we did extensive renew VP planting, in order to increase crop harvests. Once again, congratulations and my good wishes to all at New Peacock.

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