Sri Lanka - Smallholder Tea and Rubber Revitalization Project (STARR) – December 2021
Growing tea has been a family business for two generations for Tharaka Hemantha, a tea farmer from Wewal Waththa, Watewela. His parents and grandparents grew tea plants before him. Thanks to their learnings and experience which they have shared with Tharaka, he has a solid foundation to work from and an in-depth knowledge.
The STaRR project aimed at improving food security, increase incomes and strengthen the resilience of the rural people, has allowed, through funding and training, Tharaka to revitalise is tea crops and has been a key element in allowing him to develop further and improve his production.
Tharaka is a farmer at heart. When he isn’t taking care of his tea plants, he grows other types of plants in his garden. However, he says tea is a major part of his life - from growing to consuming it in various ways.
"Our everyday blood, sweat and energy should be invested into our livelihoods" - Tharaka
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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