Sri Lanka’s Elpitiya Plantations boost tea yields, diversifies crop

June 21, 2013 (LBO) – Elpitiya Plantations Plc, a unit of Sri Lanka’s Aitken Spence group said it had boosted tea yields and diversified into cinnamon oil palm and oil milling, allowing it to boost profits. In the year to March 2013, 11 percent of its 2.8 billion rupees in revenues came from palm oil as rubber prices dropped and tea fared better.

Elpitiya said it had boosted tea yields after taking over management of the former state-owned company in 1997. The company had 13 estates in the upper, mid and low elevation regions.

At New Peacock estate in the mid-country yield per hectare had been improved 101 percent to 2,790 kilograms per hectare in the year to March 2013, from 1,383 in 1997.

At Sheen estate yields were up 52 percent to 1,143 kilogram a hectare and at Nayapana it was up 20 percent to 1,831. It had also made use of a fertilizer subsidy to correct fertilizer deficiencies in soils.

“Our strategies to optimally utilize the resources inherent in our estates and enhance the capabilities of our staff to generate sustainable growth to the company have proven fruitful,” managing director Rohan M Fernando said in a statement.

“We will continue to look at ways to innovate in o