Over 30 years ago Mr. Gunasoma Wannigasekara, found that the small-time tea growers of Akuressa are extremely fervent and hard working, but lacked knowledge in tea growing methods and its management.
As a social responsibility endeavor, Nandana Tea Factory, in view of further enhancing the lifestyle of the small-time tea growers in Akuressa, did extend its gracious hands in educating and training these planters through a well-thought and executed program called “Ladalu Mahimaya,” which literally means “Glory in the Tender Leaves.”
Ladalu Mahimaya (LM) program is a non-profit project adhering to the regulations of the Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka. LM helps tea farmers to explore the best tea growing practices such as soil testing, planting, fertilizing, maintaining tea bushes, and good plucking methods The emphasis is on minimum use of fertilizers to get the maximum output of high quality green tea. Nandana Tea Factory facilitates that these farmers get expert advice on a regular basis from the tea industry professionals who are officers of Tea Research Institutes, the Tea Small Holdings Development Authority and also from private consultants. Small groups of tea growers are encouraged, one at a time, to travel and participate in training sessions at the Tea Research Institutes and Tea Small Holdings Development Authority to get updated on the current tea growing practices to earn more revenue. Nandana Tea Factory makes sure that tea farmers benefit all these facilities absolutely free of charge.
It is not surprising that this campaign has strengthened the relationship between the NTF and the green leaf suppliers. Such rural folks who are living in Akuressa are enthusiastically driven to improve the quality of green tea they harvest. This campaign has definitely resulted in better living standards for the small-scale tea grower in Akuressa.
This project remains committed to improve food safety, protect public health and provide a safe, wholesome product to the consumers. As of today, more than 1800 farmers are attached to the NTF factory community who have elevated themselves out of poverty.