Cable system for transporting tea leaves in Ratnapura | Daily News

Cable system for transporting tea leaves in Ratnapura

State Minister Kanaka Herath at the configuration of the cable transportation system.
State Minister Kanaka Herath at the configuration of the cable transportation system.

A cable system was introduced for the first time in the country to transport tea leaves in Hettikanda, Pelmadulla in Ratnapura.

The system was implemented at a cost of Rs. 2.3 million by the Small Holders Tea and Rubber Revitalization Project (STaRR) under the guidance of Company Estate Reforms, Tea and Rubber Estates Related Crops Cultivation and Factories Modernization and Tea and Rubber Export Promotion State Minister Kanaka Herath.

It took much time and effort to bring the harvest from the tea plantations in the high hills of Hettikanda to the foothills in the past.

Accessing the plantations at the top of the hill along the footpaths and bringing the tea leaves down from the hill have been very difficult earlier.

Therefore, steps were taken to establish a tea leaf transport system to increase the productivity of tea plantations at the top of the Hettikanda hills.

The tea leaves are transported by connecting a 465-meter-long steel wire from the top of the hill to the tea leaf collection point at the foot of the hill.

About 40 tea growers cultivate about 70 hectares of tea plantations in the Hettikanda hills area and their daily production is around 2,000 kg.

The cable system takes about just four minutes to send the tea leaf harvest from the top of the hill to the roadside collection centre 465 metres below. But it takes about half an hour to bring down about 20 kg of tea leaves in a sack.

"Because of this, a farmer picks only about 20 or 25 kilograms of tea leaves per day. But with the cable transportation system, farmers could harvest quality tea leaves they need,” SRaRR Project Director Janaka Amarasinghe said.

A cable system can also be used to transport fertilizer and tea plants from the bottom to the top. The State Minister said that this is an additional benefit of the cable system.

He said that because of the cable system, farmers will cultivate tea or rubber in the lands that have not been cultivated to date.