Seventeen (17) multipurpose centers for the collection and sale of green tea and other agricultural products are planned to be set up in six districts, the Minister of Plantations Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirane has announced.
According to the Ministry of Plantations, the Minister said Rs. 68 million has been allocated for the construction of these multipurpose centers in Galle, Matara, Ratnapura, Badulla, Kandy, and Nuwara Eliya Districts by the Tea Small Holdings Development Authority under the Active Star Project.
Minister Pathirane further said that this will serve about 2500 smallholders in the respective areas and in addition to collecting green tea leaves, the people will also have the opportunity to collect and sell other agro products including Cinnamon, Pepper, Arecanut, Kithul, and Jaggery through these centers.
The Star Project will also support tea replanting, intercropping, and home gardening in the districts where these multipurpose centers will be built. Under this, Cinnamon plants, Mango, Rambutan, Passion fruit, and Custard apple plants will be distributed among the families of small tea estate members.
Meanwhile, the Director of the Star Project Mr. Janasinghe said the members of the Star Project will be provided with wheelbarrows, shovels, hoes, hoses, nets, etc. to produce organic manure for home gardening, and the Tea Small Holdings Development Society will be provided with a composting machine for the production of compost.
He said that this machine can shred 1000 kilos of raw material required for compost production and it is capable of producing ten times more compost than the existing standard.
The project director added that the multi-purpose building, which also houses a library service, could be used for various community events and educational seminars and workshops organized for children in the area. (NewsWire)