Aitken Spence Plantations managed Elpitiya Plantations PLC’s New Peacock Estate in Pussellawa recorded the highest ever yield-per-hectare of 3,008 Kgs/ha for the financial year 2014/15 in Sri Lanka for a tea plantation estate with an extent of over 260 ha. The achievement came in spite of the unfavorable weather conditions that prevailed in the region during the last four months of 2014.
New Peacock estate in the mid-country region continues to be one of Elpitiya’s exceptionally performing contributors of its 13 estates.
“Undertaking of best practices in agriculture as emphasized by the management, making available the essential inputs to the tea fields at the right time and the commitment of all executives, staff and workers in the estate made the results possible”, said Senerath Pahathkumbura, the General Manager in charge of New Peacock Estate and the Mid Country Cluster of Elpitiya Plantations PLC.
“In keeping with the policy of the Company, our prime focus was to retain the workers available on the estate by giving them proper recognition and treating them as partners. To spearhead this acknowledgement across all levels, a number of benefits have been included in addition to the current welfare and social activities undertaken at the estate. Some of these benefits include workers’ name tags provided in all three languages and called by name; as well as uniforms for all workers, transport to workplace, rest rooms at all leaf weighing points with refreshment between meals during the rush cropping months”, added Mr. Pahathkumbura.
“All these measures have motivated the workers to improve their productivity and as a way forward, the Management continues to provide training to the workers in improving their skills and undertakes mechanical plucking and other agricultural works such as pruning, motorized spraying of foliar nutrients and fungicide. We would like to thank all those who have contributed in many ways to achieve the record and highest ever yield”, said Mr. Pahathkumbura.
New Peacock Tea Processing Centre produces approximately 1.2 Mn. Kgs of premium quality CTC teas per annum, and maintains the highest level of food safety standards. The estate is awarded with ISO 22000:2005, Rain Forest Alliance, Ethical Tea Partnership (ETF) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certificates, which have attracted the leading buyers’ support at the Colombo tea auctions, based on the merits of its quality.
Elpitiya’s estates are situated in the upper, mid and low country regions of Sri Lanka, cultivating tea, rubber, oil palm and coconut. The Company has a significant stake in Sri Lanka’s only privately-owned palm oil mill and operates several mini-hydro power plants. At the point of takeover by blue-chip conglomerate Aitken Spence in 1997, Elpitiya Plantations was dependent on tea. The new management embarked on a strategy of crop diversification, efficiency improvement and human resources development for the company’s growth.