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Plantation farming in Sri Lanka

Plantation farming in Sri Lanka

The plantation farming sector in Sri Lanka understandably comprises of a large and vital sector of the economy and encompasses the major plantation crops tea, rubber and coconut amongst others.

Although its contribution to the country’s gross domestic product has declined considerably over the last three decades, agriculture is still one of the most important sectors of the Sri Lankan economy and is the most crucial source of employment for the majority of the Sri Lankan workforce.

The plantation industry has its own cycle which is crop and sector-specific. Strategies adopted by producers depend mainly on the natural resource endowments, size of the domestic market and holding, status of technology employed and the extent and nature of institutional support mechanism implemented over time.

Tea is justifiably the most prominent crop of the plantation sector, with the country being the fourth largest tea producer in the world. Sri Lanka is also famous for its high quality black tea and is the largest supplier in the world. The United Kingdom, Russia, and the Middle East are the country’s major tea export markets.

The second major commercial crop is rubber, growing in the ridge and valley country of the wet zone interior. A sizable proportion of rubber production is used in the domestic manufacturing sector and the remainder is exported. China is traditionally the major buyer of Sri Lankan rubber; however the performance of this sector has been subject to instability due to unfavorable movements in world prices.

Coconuts, the third major commercial crop, are grown mainly in the surroundings of the western seaboard. Coconut is a major ingredient used in food preparation in Sri Lanka and nearly 65 percent of the output is consumed locally. The remainder is exported in the form of kernel products, coconut cream, and coconut milk powder.


 

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