Rubber cultivation started in 1876, with the planting of 1,919 rubber seedling at the Henerthgoda botanical garden in Gampaha. It is botanically known as “Hevea brasiliensis”. The rubber industry links the traditional tree crop agriculture with sophisticated industrial manufacturing in a strongly interdependent manner that has made both the sectors more stable and competitive in the global market place. The country’s traditional rubber growing districts include Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Kandy, Mathale, Galle, Matara, Kurunegala, Rathnapura and Kegalle.
The coconut grows well in Asian countries. It is used mainly for cooking the coconut milk is taken from the kernel of it, and the oil is also extracted. It is botanically known as “Cocos nucifera”. The desiccated coconut has popular in world market. Specially it grows in the coconut triangle known as Kurunegala, Chilaw and Puthtalam. There are many users of it the trunk is use for timber. The leaves are used to shade the houses. The tender leaves are used for decoration and from the husk, shell many handy crafts are made. The young coconut water is very tasty and drinks for the thirsty. The toddy is taken from its flower then treacle and jiggery are made. As this is a versatile tree it’s called “Kapruka”.
Ceylon Tea is famous the world over. It is botanically known as “Camellia sinensis”.It is the most important of our cash crops, the other two being Rubber and Coconut. Tea cultivation was started by Europeans towards the latter part of the nineteenth century when the coffee plantations were ruined by the coffee pest. Ever since these planters changed over to tea, it has grown in importance. Most of our tea is grown at a height of over two thousand feet and the best Ceylon Tae comes from the slopes of our central hills round about Nuwara Eliya, where the cold nights and the strong winds make for the slow growth of the tea bush and the excellent flavor of the leaf. Tea is also cultivated in the Low-country, but such tea has not the same flavor as “high grown” Tea. A cup of tea with good flavor is a delightful drink, but in most of our homes we have not this pleasure for many reasons, and this is indeed a pity.
The finished Tea is finally packed in chests and sent to Colombo for shipment. Ceylon’s chief customer is the United Kingdom.
Sri Lanka is an agricultural country. Hence, our economy depends much on agriculture. The agriculture can be divided into two parts, the paddy cultivation and rest of other crops and vegetables. The paddy is grown in two seasons “Yala” and “Maha” in a year. During this season, the rainy water is used and water is collected in reservoir. This is very popular in low lands. But those days farming transport were done by the animals (Buffalos) and today these works are done by the machines.
The other crops like maize, green gram, cowpea also grown on land. Mostly the vegetables and fruits also grown in the hill country, Dambulla and Jaffna are famous for this cultivation. The Chena cultivation provides some other crops such as gingerly and some kind of vegetables. Except these the pepper, cinnamon, clove and some other spices are grown. Most of the people’s livelihood is the agriculture.