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Tea small holders’ perceptions and experience with tea small holdings development societies (TSHDS) in Matara district of Sri Lanka

Authors:

G. G. Bandula ,

Tea Small Holdings Development Authority, Regional Office, Kalidasa Road, Matara, LK
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L. M. Abeywickrama,

University of Ruhuna, Mapalana, Kamburupitiya, LK
About L. M.
Faculty of Agriculture
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Mangala De Zoysa

University of Ruhuna, Mapalana, Kamburupitiya, LK
About Mangala De
Faculty of Agriculture
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Abstract

Tea Small Holdings Development Societies (TSHDS) have been established under the guidance of Tea Small Hold-ings Development Authority (TSHDA) in Sri Lanka. These Societies were expected to act as bridges among the tea small holders and other relevant organizations including TSHDA and to provide necessary services to the tea small holders in effective and efficient way and to identify the tea small holders actual needs and opportunities through feedbacks. However, with all the reforms in the tea small holdings sector and the institutional interven-tion, it is not clear that the objectives of the TSHDS have been achieved. Matara district is purposively selected for the study as it contributes more than 13 % of the total tea production in the country and about 17 % of the total tea small holders are residing in Matara. We used a structured questionnaire to interview randomly selected six-hundred tea small-holders selected from six DS. Thi is in addition, to focus group discussions, direct observations and discussions with relevant stakeholders. Descriptive Statistical Tools, Chi-square test, ‘t’ test and Wilcoxon Sign Rank Test were used to analyze and to present data. The study revealed that the TSHDS has not addressed the needs of the tea small-holders in addition to the conventional activities such as advisory services and the gov-ernment subsidies of TSHDA and other government authorities. Out of the total number of small holders in the sample only 15% were highly satisfied about the TSHDS and another 12% were partially satisfied. The results proved that there is no significant improvement of the tea small holdings sector due to implementation of Tea So-cieties. The study suggests to strengthen TSHDS through continuous training and providing other necessary assis-tances to enable them to improve advisory and extension services. In addition, distribution of tea cultivation subsi-dy more efficiently and effectively to their members with the assistance of the TSHDA to improve the productivity of the tea small holdings. The study also recommends reviewing the structure and function of the TSHDS in order to revitalize the Societies which may be crucial to face the problems of low productivity, degradation of the quality and other emerging issues in the future.
How to Cite: Bandula, G.G., Abeywickrama, L.M. & Zoysa, M.D., (2016). Tea small holders’ perceptions and experience with tea small holdings development societies (TSHDS) in Matara district of Sri Lanka. Tropical Agricultural Research and Extension. 19(2), pp.222–227. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/tare.v19i2.5347
Published on 28 Jun 2016.
Peer Reviewed

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