Program to uplift tea smallholders
The Smallholder Plantation Entrepreneurship Development
Program(SPEnDP) aims at improving the livelihoods of marginalized tea
smallholders in the mid-country region and poor upland food crop farmers
in the intermediate zone of Moneragala region, Plantation Industries
Ministry sources said.
The SPEnDP operates under a loan of US$ 40.7 million provided by the
International Fund for Agricultural Development for a seven year period.
Under the program 3,500 hectares of lands under perennial crops in
mid-country and 3,800 hectares of rubber in Moneragala district will be
Elaborating on the project, Program Coordinator C. Maliyadda said the
objective of the program is to encourage the partnership of the
smallholders in the plantation industry, while ensuring sustainable
uplift of social, economic and general living status of smallholder
Maliyadda said, over 1,647 hectares have been newly converted to
rubber cultivation during last two years and it is expected to extend it
up to 5,000 hectares. Over 75 hectares had been covered by Tea
re-planting and in-filling under this program.
The ultimate aim of the project is to uplift tea smallholders as
entrepreneurs, he added.
Building a close relationship between tea factories and tea
smallholders is another objective of the program, he said.
The program covers six divisions in Kegalle, Kandy , Nuwara Eliya and
the entirety of Moneragala district.
The project beneficiaries include 8,700 households comprising 39,250