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Agri 2024

Integrating ethno-climatology knowledge to enhance climate resilience in organic tea cultivation: A case study of Sri Lankan tea smallholders

Senaka Lalith Dharmasri Amarathunga, Speaker at Horticulture Conferences
Uva Wellassa University, Sri Lanka
Title : Integrating ethno-climatology knowledge to enhance climate resilience in organic tea cultivation: A case study of Sri Lankan tea smallholders


The sustainable cultivation of organic tea is facing a grave challenge in the form of climate change, which has led to a host of negative impacts on tea production. In order to mitigate these impacts and ensure the continued viability of organic tea cultivation, swift and effective adaptation measures are urgently required. Ethno-climatology is a multidisciplinary field that investigates the relationship between human societies and climate, examining how cultures and communities perceive and interact with climate and weather patterns. This study aimed to evaluate the level of ethno-climatology knowledge among organic tea smallholders in the Uva High Grown region of Sri Lanka and assess their degree of adaptation measures to improve climate resilience. Data was collected through interviews, questionnaires, focus group discussions, and surveys, with a sample size of 100 smallholders. The results showed that over half of the smallholders demonstrated a significant level of awareness concerning ethno-climatology, with approximately 37 exhibiting a high level of awareness. The multiple regression model used in the study had a strong fit, accounting for 96.2% of the variance in the dependent variable. The analysis revealed that variables such as age, experience in organic tea cultivation, knowledge gained through experience, observations, beliefs, and cultural practices played pivotal roles in shaping smallholders' awareness and understanding of ethno-climatology. Conversely, the variables related to education and the number of information sources showed weak or non-significant relationships with awareness levels. The findings suggest that policymakers should focus on developing strategies to increase smallholders' awareness of ethno-climatology practices and provide support for the application of long and mid-term climate resilience adaptive strategies. Overall, this research provides valuable insights into the existing understanding of ethno-climatology and the adoption of adaptation measures in climate resilience within an organic tea ecosystem.

Keywords: climate resilience; Ethno-climatology; Organic tea cultivation; Awareness level; Mitigation measures



Dr. Lalith Amathunga Head/Department of Export Agriculture, Uva Wellassaa University of Sri Lanka, is a dedicated Agricultural Extensionist and environmentalist graduated as B.Sc. Agriculture from University Ruhuna in 1987 and he obtained his Master's degree of M.Sc. Environmental Science from the University of Colombo in 2000 specializing in the impact of climate change on tea productivity. He doctored in the field of Agricultural Extension specializing in Public-Private Partnership Extension in the tea sector from the University of Peradeniya in 2015. He worked as a Senior advisory officer at Tea Research Institute in 1991-2010 and as Senior Manager of Tea Extension at John Keells Group in 2011-2020, and currently working as a Senior Lecturer in Uva Wellassaa University of Sri Lanka.

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