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‘Women’s vital contribution to tea sector going unrecognized’

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By Steve A. Morel

Center for Women’s Research, CENWOR, Colombo, conducted workshops recently highlighting importance of women entrepreneurs to the economy of the country. Also, that they were not effectively recognized for this contribution.

Representing the Tea Factory Owners Association Dhammika Mahipala  said tea smallholders, who number around 400, 000, and own small holdings, one or two hectares each in extent, produce  75 percent of the tea in the country. Yields per hectare are now at a record high of 1952 kilos. He added it would not be long before such yields exceed 3000 kilos per hectare.

Such crop achievements were possible because  smallholder lands  are predominantly  worked by women. Their crop is eventually processed by the tea factory owners and sold at the auctions at premium prices. As already known, prices realized last year were the highest on record.  Apart from kudos lavished on the factories,  production of tea crop, or tea  leaf, was possible mainly because of the women who work their lands. Such lands are not owned by them, but their husbands; who with least effort are the main beneficiaries of production of these tea lands. Mahipala said women who are the main producers of tea are invariably rendered insignificant in the production chain.

Women  are mainly responsible   for contributing over 1.5 billion dollars to the  economy. This made the tea industry viable although the Covid debacle literally throttled  most other industries. The tea industry was instrumental in ensuring exports  continued without interruption and  the economy was kept viable. All  because of women who were directly responsible for production; both in the corporate sector and the tea smallholder sector.

Director,  CENWOR, Dr. Kala Peiris  said the smallholder sector continued such production with women not being paid for the work they do.  They are not recipients of all statutory dues.  They do not get EPF, ETF, and allied pension benefits, no child care benefits, and connected  pluses that give them allied dignity.  She agreed the formalized tea sector workers are paid, with attendant benefits of water sanitation, housing,  and  all statutory dues.

However,  her strong advocacy for recognition, both domestically and socially should be of immediate importance,  resulting in women  being positively recognized for their contribution to the economy, and not relegated to the position of non persons.

The CENEWOR  discussion was  parallel to the contribution of the FAO, which also played a catalyst role  to ensure women are recognized in the future. Tina Jayaratnam, representing the FAO at the head table said, the multi-faceted contribution of women should be recognised.

Director, CENWOR, Dr. Wijeye Jayatilleka and Dr. K.C.B. Puspalatha also spoke.

 

 



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Cabraal briefs Chief Incumbents on Port City Project Commission Bill

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On the instructions of the President and the Prime Minister, State Minister of Finance Ajith Nivard Cabraal on April 19 visited the Asgiriya Chapter, the Malwathu Chapter and the Chief Prelates of the Amarapura and Ramanna Maha Nikayas and briefed them on the relevant draft commission bill on Port City Project.

Cabinet Minister Prasanna Ranatunga, Minister of State Lohan Ratwatte, Minister of State Kanaka Herath, MP Wasantha Yapa Bandara and MP Kokila Gunawardena were also present on the occasion.

 

 

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Growing importance of training for nurses taking care of patients with NCDs

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To keep pace with the rapid expansion and increasing complexity of elderly home healthcare, training needs of home healthcare nurses must be identified and subsequent training programs implemented. English Nursing Care conducts training sessions on a weekly basis covering a variety of care needs for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) such as diabetes. The World Health Organisation (WHO) record that NCDs are estimated to account for 75% of total deaths in Sri Lanka.

Furthermore, according to the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health “although people are living longer, they live more years suffering from disease and disability, mainly from NCDs; life expectancy at birth in Sri Lanka is 74.9 years but healthy life expectancy at birth is only 67.0 years.” This has a significant impact on quality of life.

English Nursing Care Sri Lanka works towards improving the quality of life of the elderly living with NCD’s by training nurses on the most advanced and developed methodologies brought through years of experience internationally and locally. Being responsible for the well-being of your loved ones is pivotal in the service they provide.

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SriLankan Airlines welcomes Indian delegation to Sri Lanka

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SriLankan Airlines in a bid to recommence Indian tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka under the proposed bio-bubble tourist arrival concept successfully completed a familiarization tour for Indian media and travel trade professionals recently. A delegation of tour operators, agents, and senior editors representing influential media institutions concluded a familiarization tour in Sri Lanka.

The delegation spent six nights and seven days touring the country while being subjected to mandatory PCR testing and other health guidelines imposed by the Ministry of Health. Upon arriving in Sri Lanka, the delegation toured the most sought-after local tourist sites including Dambulla, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, and Bentota. The tour was initiated by SriLankan Holidays and the ground arrangements for the tour were handled by Jetwing Travels, Aitken Spence, Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB), and Hamoos Travels.

The main purpose of their participation in this fam tour was to restore confidence in visiting Sri Lanka, especially among the Indian tourists to provide them in-depth knowledge on how the country’s tourism industry operates under the bio-bubble concept. Apart from visiting various places, they experienced the stringent health and safety protocols adopted by the country in resuming tourism under the “bio-bubble” concept allowing tourists to roam around without mixing with the local population.

During their stay here, the delegation was hosted for a virtual meet-and-greet with SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ashok Pathirage, Chief Executive Officer Vipula Gunathilleka, and Head of Worldwide Sales & Distribution Dimuthu Tennakoon. The discussion focused on the airline’s operations to India, vaccination and quarantine travel arrangements between the two countries, current safety measures, and guidelines pertaining to the bio-bubble concept. They lauded the effort taken by officials to make their trip a memorable one.

The Indian delegation was highly impressed with the opportunities they were given to travel and explore the country and its exclusive holiday prospects for the enthusiastic traveller. This fam tour was a manifestation of the immense potential of Sri Lanka as a post-covid travel destination enticing the Indian traveller.

 

 

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