Agriculture Tourism in Sri Lanka

A Truly Amazing, Enriching and Fun Experience!

Ecology, farming, local gastronomy, and the customs peculiar to a certain place; fresh air, Fresh fruits and vegetable, simplicity, peace and warm hospitality: these are some of the benefits of agro tourism, the par excellence version of travelling that brings you closer to Mother Earth and her children. Agro tourism is new concept to Sri Lanka, green foot travels have been identified the value if the concept and providing excellent experience.

Since ancient time Sri Lankan Buddhist culture and Agro culture has built an excellent history. Sri Lankan civilisations have its rituals and own traditions. Sri Lanka’s agro culture civilisation (developed over the course of 2500 years), huge ancient irrigational tanks and many crops .Taking part in farm life goes beyond a simple travelling experience to become a return to tradition. It is this immediate, personal relationship between people and the land when a guest soon becomes a friend that one can restore by taking part in agro tourism activities.

Sri Lanka's primary form of agriculture is rice production. Tea and Rubber are cultivated in the central highlands and is a major source of foreign exchange. Vegetables, fruits, Spices and oilseed crops are also cultivated in the country. Also cattle, many people in Sri Lanka depend on agro culture, but various traditional cultivations experience makes a fantastic agro holiday in Sri Lanka. Green foot travels will make your dreams. At Green foot travels we can arrange peculiar agricultural experience ranging from milking cattle on a dairy farm, having a go at plucking tea leaves using the traditional ‘bag-on-the-head' method, rubber tapping, traditional paddy cultivations programs, local and various gastronomy demonstrations programmes, experience with local farmers and villagers and many more..., or even working in the many picturesque landscape in all part of island you wish.

Crops in Sri Lanka

Paddy cultivations

Sri Lanka paddy cultivations date back to between 161 BC and 1017 A.D. The governing Royal minds of Sri Lanka saw the enriching importance of Rice Cultivation that provoked them to build tanks of extraordinary size and numbers to irrigate the mass scale rice production. Many cultural and traditional rituals endowed with it. and age-old traditions.

The land is tilled in August (Nikini) dry season and cultivated with the blessings of rain water in September (Binara) and from December (Unduvap) to February (Navam) cometh the harvesting season. You can not only witness and observe this marvel but also enjoy those fruits and plants plucked from the chena and could enjoy the rare experience of spending a night there in the Pela, (shelter hut built on a tree) listening to folk songs and poetry sung by chena farmers to chase away wild animals from their cultivations.

Process of Paddy Cultivation

Rice cultivation is not an easy task. It requires great deal of prudence and patience. To obtain that wholesome grain of seeds, the cultivators have to undergo a complex set of procedures. Following is a brief outline of how Rice is Cultivated in the Sri Lankan soil and brought to your deliciously prepared plate.

• Preparation Of Land
• Selection Of Good Seeds
• Crop Establishment
• Irrigation and Management
• Nutrient Management
• Crop Health Management
• Harvesting
• Post-Harvest

Preparation of Land

Land preparation refers to the procedure of arranging the cultivation area, in the best possible condition for Rice cultivation, ensuring the land is level and hydrated matching to the needs and requirements of the rice seeds planted. Preparation is done via machineries or by water buffaloes.

Selection of Good Seeds

Selecting good seeds to harvest a healthy crop is very important. That's why cultivators go for pure seeds for their chosen rice variety, which are full and identical in size, free of weed seeds, and seed-borne diseases, insects and other matter.

By using quality seeds;
• Reduction in replanting
• Uniformity in plant size
• It will minimize seeding attempts
• Produce a good quality crop
• Resistance to pests and other diseases which would affect Paddy cultivation

Crop Establishment

Crop Establishment refers to managing a series of steps that includes, seeding, seed germination, seedling emergence and its development up until its stage of maturity, with other factors such as soil, climatic, biotic, machinery and management procedures.
Crop Establishment can be done in two methods
1. Transplanting
This method is much favoured across Asian countries, which also requires more labour and back-breaking effort. It is the process where selected seeds are planted on a seed bed, where the seeds are allowed to grow until they are mature enough to go to the field. After that, pre-germinated seedlings are manually transferred from the seed bed to the wet field.
2. Direct Seeding
It is the process where dry seeds or pre-germinated seeds and seedlings are spread throughout the cultivation area by hand or planted by machinery.

Irrigation and Management

Cultivated paddy has a higher sensitivity towards water shortages. They are in need of a steady supply of water, and it tends to immediately react by developing symptoms of water stress when the supply is disturbed and drop below the required. Therefore to ensure golden crop the cultivators should always maintain a sound water management systems ensuring sufficient amounts of water reaches every rice plant from its birth to the final stage of its life.

Nutrient Management

Like every living being, plants also need varying nutritional factors at various stages of life. By maintaining the situation of a flooded rice field; farmers and cultivators have the ability to preserve soil organic matter as well as receive free nitrogen from natural sources. If the Nutrient Management halts by maintaining the above level, you will produce a crop of about 3 tons per hectare, without artificially applied nitrogen fertilizer.

If a higher yield is the target, more nutrients should be provided.

Crop Health Management

Crop Health management is essential. As the crop flourishes, it charm pests and diseases of various kinds to thrive in the crops' healthy grow. Before using pesticides and other artificial methods, it is best to prevent any negative conditions from continuing, which might attracts rodents, harmful insects, viruses, diseases, and weeds.

Another method that could be adopted is to create an anti-eco-system for the pests and diseases, which would naturally decrease the negative impacts from unwelcoming guests and situations to the minimal.


Harvesting refers to the best period to collect mature rice crop from the rice field. Rice crops usually mature within and around the period of 115-120 days after crop establishment. It can be done both manually and mechanically. Though manual harvesting is common across Asia, it is highly a labour intensive process which requires 40 to 80 man-hours per hectare.


Post-Harvest procedures are undergone depending on their immediate usage after harvesting. Preliminary stages that quickly follow harvesting stage are drying, storing, milling, and final processing. Out of the abovementioned stages, drying is the most important factor as the storage capability is determined according to retained moisture levels. Delays In drying, partly drying or ineffective drying will reduce the quality and will lead to a greater loss of harvested crop.

Tea Cultivation

Where the cold nights and the strong winds make for slow growth of the tea bush and an excellent flavour of the leaf are. The story of a tea is an ancient one. Yet today historians agree the shenong, a Chinese emperor and a culture hero in china who lived in 2737 BC found the magical taste of tea leaves by accident.

The history of Sri Lankan tea story is not as complex as the history of tea. yet it is an interesting story which began after the island was invaded by the British. Tea was introduced to Ceylon following the deadly disease ‘coffee rust’, which devastated the Islands coffee plantations. In 1848 a tea plant was brought to Ceylon by the British from china and was planted in the Royal Botanical garden Peradeniya. In 1867 on the Loolecondra Estate, James Taylor planted the first commercial tea bushes on 19 acres of land. Thus Sri Lanka becomes one of the leading countries which produced finest quality tea of the World.

Ceylon or Sri Lankan tea is widely acclaimed as the best tea in the world. It has an inherent unique characteristic and reputation running through more than a century. The countries distinct climatic and soil conditions impart a variety of flavours and aromas, synonymous with quality. Where the cold nights and the strong winds make for slow growth of the tea bush and an excellent flavour of the leaf are. The story of a tea is an ancient one. Yet today historians agree the shenong, a Chinese emperor and a culture hero in china who lived in 2737 BC found the magical taste of tea leaves by accident.

Varieties of Tea

All tea is produced by the Camellia Sinensis plant. Primarily, there are two main varieties of tea; Black & Green, and speciality teas like Oolong, White and Flavoured Teas.

Black Tea
Black tea refers to tea which follows a process of heavily oxidizing and fermenting the tea leaves. It produces a tea that is strong in flavour and contains high caffeine content. Black tea is not actually black when brewed, but rather the name refers to the colour of the leaves, which are black. When brewed, Black tea has a rich, dark amber colour.

Green Tea
Green tea refers to tea that follows a process of mild oxidation, and no fermentation. Green tea is heat treated to retain its colour and freshness. Generally Green tea has a light taste. Green tea usually has a yellow appearance when brewed. The tea may have a yellow-greenish appearance when water is first poured.

Black Tea Grades Names
Grade names are used in Sri Lanka to classify its teas in terms of size and appearance of a leaf. There are two categories of grades, ‘Leaf grades’ and ‘Smaller broken grades’. Leaf grades refers to the size and appearance of the teas that were produced during Sri Lanka's colonial era, and which are still being used, and Smaller broken grades refer to the modern tea style and appearance. Leaf grades

• Orange Pekoe A (OPA) - The largest whole leaf wiry tea.
• Orange Pekoe (OP) - A whole leaf, well twisted tea showing no tip. OPA and OP generally produce a delicate brew that varies in taste according to the different districts in which it is grown.
• Flowery Orange Pekoe (FOP) - Smaller than OP leaves, also rolled lengthwise.
• Orange Pekoe 1 (OP 1) - A well twisted leaf tea, generally from the low country region.
• Pekoe - A curly leaf style giving a light cup and delicate taste. Smaller broken grades
• Broken Orange Pekoe (BOP) - A smaller or broken leaf OP, which helps to bring out a good balance of taste and strength.
• Broken Pekoe 1 - The larger leaf of CTC (Crush, Tear & Curl) type manufacture with large spherical particles, with no tip, giving a full bodied bright tea.
• Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe (FBOP) - A semi-leaf tea with some tip. Generally produces a mellow flavoured taste.
• Broken Orange Pekoe Fannings (BOPF) - A particle smaller than BOP, popular in the higher elevations. Has a stronger taster than BOP whilst keeping all other characteristics.
• Dust - The smallest particle of leaf size. Fine granular particles that bring out best strength and body, ideal for commercial brewing.
• Silver Tips - The finest buds from teas of a special colour which turn silvery colour when dried. Produces a very delicate fragrant brew.

Tea-growing areas of Sri Lanka

Nuwara Eliya
The champagne of Sri Lankan tea. The highest region that tea is produced in the Island is brewed light and has a bright flavour with a golden, light appearance. Nuwara Eliya tea tastes best drunk with little or no milk.

West of the central mountains of Sri Lanka, Dimbula tea noted for its full bodied strength and powerful aroma. A region that is inundated by the monsoon rains during August and September, the best teas from Dimbulla are from the pluck during the dry months of January and February. Dimbulla tea tastes best with milk.

A mid-country tea growing region surrounding Sri Lanka’s last royal capital. Tea from the Kandyan region produces a brew that is full bodied and rich in colour.

Located east of Dimbulla, this region produces a tea with a distinctive flavour and pungency. Uva tea is also widely used in the preparation of many blends. This regions tea is copper coloured and goes well with milk.

This region produces the Island’s low-county tea and is located in the Southern area of the country. Teas from Ruhuna have a gentle, subtle, smooth taste and a golden appearance when brewed. It is best drunk with milk. Tea Many studies have shown and supported the health benefits of drinking tea. Teas contain many powerful antioxidants, some of which are called polyphenols, flavonoids, and catechins, which strongly contribute to its vast benefits of tea. Antioxidants in general work to neutralize ‘free radicals’, which are believed to damage elements in the body over time, such as genetic material and lipids, and contribute to chronic disease.

Health Benefits

Increases the Metabolic Rate: Studies indicate that tea raise the metabolic rates, speeds up fat oxidation and improves insulin sensitivity & glucose tolerance. The catechin polyphenols in tea raise the rate at which calories are burned, and so increase energy expenditure. Protects the body from aging and pollution: Tea contains antioxidants that protect the body from the ravages of aging and the effects of pollution. Lowers Stress: Drinking tea lowers stress hormone levels. Research suggests that tea drinkers following a high stress event have a twenty percent greater drop in cortisol, also called the Stress Hormone. The study also showed that blood platelet activation, which is linked to blood clotting and the risk of heart attacks was also lower for tea drinkers.

Protects Teeth:
Tea contains fluoride and tannins that may keep plaque at bay and also helps inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause bad breath.

Improves the Immune System:
Drinking tea may help your body's immune system fight off infections by boosting the disease-fighting capacity of Gamma Delta T cells.

Boosts Alertness:
L-theanine, an amino acid, found almost exclusively in tea, has been found to activate the attention networks of the brain. The small intestine passes theanine to the bloods and makes it way to the blood-brain barrier, where it affects the brain's neurotransmitters and increases alpha brain-wave activity. The result is a calmer, but more alert, state of mind.

Calorie Free:
Tea by itself is calorie-free. It contains no calories, unless you add sugar or milk. Stronger Bones: Drinking tea helps protect bones. Research has found that people who drink tea regularly have some of the strongest bone structures. The research found this after discounting effects of age, body weight, exercise, smoking and other risk factors. Helps prevent Parkinson's disease: Tea contains caffeine and research has shown that caffeine aids in the reduction of likelihood of Parkinson's disease and a temporary increase in short term memory.

Cancer Protection:
Polyphenols, an antioxidants found in tea, possesses cancer-fighting effects

Tea Trail

When you travelling to up country in island. You can visit and learn something of the tea industry. That brings the greatest experience for you. in long unending rows, spaced at regular intervals , you will see and touch tea bushes like huge army of fat green dwarfs. They are kept at a convening height of about three feet by regular pruning which is also enables tender shoots to appear. Every morning at labourers attend the “miuster” and go out in the cold mist to pluck tiny tea leaves. They pluck only two tender leaves and a bud from each shoot and put them in to large basket which they carry slung behind their backs. You can fallow them and pluck tea.

When they are plucking is over. Their supervisors take the green leaves to the factory. a large stored building, where then tea maker and staff turn this green tea into black tea which we use. A hundred pound of green tea leaves gives us 20 to 25 pound of manufactured tea.

You can see how it made The green tea leaves are first spread evenly on long racks or “lofts” and left to dry. This slight drying is called withering, next they are rolled by a special machine. The leaves now changed colour and give out their familiar smell. They are then left in a room to ferment. Flavour, then the leaves pass through hot air machines which take all their moisture. They now turn fully black. Then shifted into different graded according to the size of the leaf. The finest graded called F.B.O.P (flower broken Orange Pekoe) Now you can tastes it.


Rubber was first introduced in the late 19th century under the British. Though slow to catch on, the cultivation of rubber accelerated in the early 1900‘s due to a slump in world tea prices. Rubber continues to be the second most import plantation crop in the nation and contributes.

Crepe Rubber
Crepe rubber is manufactured using a process of coagulation that creates a crinkled rubber texture. The process involves combing coagulated latex with some natural form of coagulum. The combined material is further processed through large rollers that are known as crepers.. Crepe rubber is most often used for manufacture of shoe soles and rubber boots and gloves.

Depending on the thickness, density, degree of contamination, crepe rubber can be classified in many grades. Some of which are Latex Crepe No.1X, Latex Crepe No.1, Latex Crepe No.2, Latex Crepe No.3, Latex Crepe No.4, Scrap Crepe (Brown) No.1, Scrap Crepe (Brown) No.2, Scrap Crepe (Brown) No.3, Scrap Crepe, (Brown) No.4, Flat Bark and Skim Crepe.

Sheet Rubber
Sheet rubber is one of the oldest and still most popular type processed latex products. There are two board types of sheet rubber are produced and marketed, namely the Ribbed Smoked Sheets (RSS) and the Air Dried Sheets (ADS). Among these two types, Ribbed smoked sheet is the most popular and is available for volume consumption.

Ribbed Smoked Sheets consists of deliberately coagulated rubber sheets, dried using smoke. RSS sheets are graded different grades according to its colour, consistency and observed impurities. Some of which are RSS1, RSS2, RSS3, RSS4, and RSS5. RSS is mainly used in automobile tyre manufacturing or when extra tough rubber is needed.

Air Dried Sheets look like RSS, but it tends to be more transparent than due to it being processed in smokeless environment. ADS are widely used in Coloured Rubber Products.

Fruits and vegetable

Around eighty different varieties of fruits and vegetables are grown in Sri Lanka’s varied agro-climatic areas. The cool and salubrious climatic conditions in the hill country are ideal for temperate crops such as carrot, leek, cabbage, cauliflower, salad leaves, beet, bean, bell pepper and salad cucumber. The well demarcated low country and dry wet areas are suitable for a variety of tropical fruits and vegetables ranging from green chilli, red onion, pumpkin, bitter gourd, melon, sweet and sour banana types, queen pineapple, papaya, mango, lemon and gherkins etc.

Certain indigenous yams colloquially named Innala (Lecranthus) and kiri ala (Xanthasoma sagittifolium), underwater stems of kohila (Lasia spinosa) and nelum ala (Nymphea lotus) and fruits and pods of perennial crops such as bread fruit, young jak and murunga are foreign exchange spinners of the country. It is the same with special flavored Sri Lankan Pineapple, Mangosteen, ripeJak, avocado, Rambutan, star fruit and Anoda etc.

Oilseed Crops

Oilseed crops such as Groundnut, Sesame, Sunflower and Mustard are also cultivated in Sri Lanka. Groundnut is grown mainly in Moneragala, Hambantota, Kurunegala, Anuradhapura, Badulla, Ratnapura and Puttalam districts. Though groundnut is an oil crop, it has a demand as a snack and confectionery in Sri Lanka.

Livestock in Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka many farmers depend on animal husbandry for their livelihood, but not a large proportion. Therefore, many livestock products have to be imported. The main livestock products in Sri Lanka are milk, meat and eggs. Hides, wools and other products are still not produced within the country. Animal power formerly used in the cultivation of rice and vegetables has been replaced by modern technology to farm lands. However animal husbandry plays an important role in the rural economy for improving the living conditions of farmers in the country. Main dairy/meat products
A very few types of dairy products are locally processed by a few companies as well as house hold producers in the country. The most leading product among them is yoghurt and hundreds of trade names are available to buy it. Other main dairy products are ice cream, curd, ghee, liquid milk (pasteurized and flavoured), cheese and some sweets Be a responsible traveller with your every step to save the future
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Agro Tour In Sri Lanka..