Sri Lanka - Smallholder Tea and Rubber Revitalization Project (STARR) – December 2021
Sarath Premasiri Jayasingha and his wife, Deepa Priyangani Perera, are a hardworking couple in their fifties, with a daughter in university and a son who will soon be finishing senior school.
With a capital given to them by the STARR project, they were able to build and grow their farm on which they grow tea and have intercrops of cinnamon with which they supplement their income. Despite the various challenges they faced such as lack of fertilizer, unpredictable climate, and wild animals, through discussions with their district project coordinator, they were able to find solutions that enabled them to overcome these problems. One such solution was to hang compact disks (CDs) around their farm so that the light reflecting off them keeps the animals away.
When asked what her future aspirations were, Deepa stated: "Our hope is to keep growing stronger."
The IFAD-funded Smallholder Tea and Rubber Revitalization Project aims to improve food security, increase incomes, and strengthen the resilience of poor rural people in Sri Lanka, all while ensuring that the smallholders are the key decision-makers of the project. By promoting organization among smallholders to produce and market tea, supporting them in improving rubber production and processing, seeking a better link to markets, and facilitating smallholders’ access to rural financing, this project will benefit approximately 32,000 smallholder households.
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