Sri Lanka - Smallholder Tea and Rubber Revitalization Project (STARR) – December 2021
Late in life, Lena Duwa Lokuge Shanthilatha has developed a new interest for bee keeping and producing honey.
Though she knew nothing about this activity, through financial support and training from the STaRR project, she developed a keen interest in beekeeping and received the training and tools that have allowed her to set-up 20 beehives and produce honey which she bottles and sells at the market.
Beekeeping is an option introduced to tea smallholder farmers for alternative livelihoods and income diversification, as tea replanting takes time, and the farmers cannot earn an income from it during that period. Therefore, through STaRR, farmers were given loans and training that allowed them to build their hives, as well as a starter hive.
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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