Fuel wood trees in marginal small holder tea plantations in Sri Lanka: Stakeholder's perception

I. R. Palihakkara*, Makoto Inoue

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


New intervention that demands farmer's adaptation of new approach to land use, requires understand their perception of the status quo and the potential of the new approach. This is particular important in the case of marginal tea small holders because of their already exposure to vulnerabilities which may make them less comfortable to take risks. Research has shown that farmer's perception commonly reflects the reality. Once the farmers have to adopt sustainable agricultural practices, they first need to believe that the practices are important, provide a safe rural environment, and will bring in stable and long term income by facing natural climatic and environmental problems. Understanding farmer's perception is vital in enhancing policy formulation towards addressing problems faced by farmers. This study departs by broadly considering physical, institutional and intervention issues as a measure of threat and opportunity for sustainability of farming in marginal tea farm land. A total of 25 key stakeholders from marginal tea growing areas in Matara district were interviewed. Ten of the interviewees were government staffs (TSHDA) while the rest fifteen were small tea farm holders. A total of 26 pre tested statements ranked from-5 (extremely disagree) to + 5 (extremely agree) were prepared for the interview. The questions categorized as: important biophysical constrains for their farming, choice of external organizations, incentives for fuel wood plantation establishment, problems for continuing tea farming and satisfaction with the existing property rights. The results of the study shows that soil erosion and heavy winds are vital physical factors for the farmers. Low productivity, high cost of land management, labour intensity and labour scarcity are key disadvantages of tea farming. While considering environmental protection, good market demand, comparatively less labour requirement is found to be important advantages of fuel wood planting in marginal tea plantations. The stakeholders also found to prefer government involvement over other actions to plant fuel wood trees within their marginal tea plantations. Stakeholders suggest that planting fuel-wood minimize the risk of depending on one crop as well as avoiding risks and uncertainty of environmental factors affecting tea farming. They strongly recommend that it is good to plant timber and fuel wood trees inside their plantation. Therefore stakeholders suggest, in future government intervention for popularizing of planting timber/ fuel wood trees inside as well as along the boundaries of marginal tea plantations would have been increased. Introduction of new policy and regulations are necessary in the future on planting, harvesting and transporting of timber /fuel wood with a aim of increase the farmers income as well as safeguard the sustainability of Marginal small tea farming in Sri Lanka.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1211-1216
Number of pages6
JournalProcedia Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event7th International Conference on Building Resilience, ICBR 2017 - Bangkok, Thailand
Duration: 2017 Nov 272017 Nov 29


  • Fuelwood
  • Marginal Tea Plantations
  • Perception
  • Stakeholders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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