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An Analysis of the impacts of Labour Scarcity on Land Productivity in Sri Lankan Tea Plantations

Authors:

H. W. Shyamalie ,

Tea Research Institute, Talawakele, LK
About H. W.
Agricultural Economics Division
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B. M. N. C. Karunarathne,

Tea Research Institute, Talawakele, LK
About B. M. N. C.
Agricultural Economics Division
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H. M. C. G. Pilapitiya,

Tea Research Institute, Talawakele, LK
About H. M. C. G.
Agricultural Economics Division
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P. T. P. Lakshani,

Tea Research Institute, Talawakele, LK
About P. T. P.
Agricultural Economics Division
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T. H. I. Chathuranga,

Tea Research Institute, Talawakele, LK
About T. H. I.
Agricultural Economics Division
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K. W. N. Nadeeshani

Tea Research Institute, Talawakele, LK
About K. W. N.
Agricultural Economics Division
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Abstract

Tea is a labour-intensive industry and labour scarcity is being felt as a major impediment in the sector. The objectives of this study were to determine annual labour declining rates in different tea growing regions, to determine severity of labour scarcity in the selected estates, and to assess the effect of severity of labour scarcity on land productivity. Stratified Random Sampling Technique was used to select the sample containing 66 large estates in Sri Lanka. Data were collected from the estate records for a ten-year period (2006-2015). Estates were categorized into four groups, based on its severity of labour scarcity. Chi-Square tests were performed to compare the productivity of the estates affected by labour scarcity with the estates that were not affected by labour scarcity.

 

Annual labour declining rates in Up country, Mid country, Uva and Low country were 2.94%, 4.87%, 4.22% and 5.06%, respectively. Results also showed that mean land productivity declined with the increase in labour scarcity. The productivity gap between the estates which were not affected and affected by severity of labour scarcity were correlated. Regression analysis revealed that VP tea, extent in bearing and region of tea cultivation had positive significant effects on land productivity. Further, plucker scarcity showed a negative significant impact on land productivity. Since these findings highlighted the importance of identifying solutions to labour scarcity, action has to be taken to attract and retain labour in tea plantations and to promote mitigation measures such as adopting labour saving techniques to overcome this problem for a sustainable tea industry in Sri Lanka.
How to Cite: Shyamalie, H.W., Karunarathne, B.M.N.C., Pilapitiya, H.M.C.G., Lakshani, P.T.P., Chathuranga, T.H.I. and Nadeeshani, K.W.N., 2020. An Analysis of the impacts of Labour Scarcity on Land Productivity in Sri Lankan Tea Plantations. Tropical Agricultural Research, 31(4), pp.54–64. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/tar.v31i4.8421
Published on 06 Oct 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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