Tea is Sri Lanka’s topmost agricultural export. It is one of the major plantation crops grown from nearly sea level to around 2200m amsl. The total tea land is estimated to be 200,000 ha of which approximately 60% is managed by smallholders contributing to about 70% of the national production. In 2010, Sri Lanka produced 329 million kg of tea earning an estimated Rs. 155,376 million (Central Bank of Sri Lanka, 2010). The industry is said to employ over 1.5 million people..
M.A.Wijeratne is an inventor and has received patent rights for inventing a selective tea harvester, collapsible tea plucking basket, hand pruner and deep fertilizer applicator. He has received two Presidential Awards in Sri Lanka and two Gold Medals from Geneva, Switzerland for his inventions. He has been appointed as an Assistant Commissioner to the Sri Lanka Inventors Commission.