Browns Investment’s interest in the plantation is through Browns Capital PLC, which is the intermediate holding company of Maturata Plantations Limited. Maturata is managing 19 tea estates spread across 9,665 acres, producing 3.7 million kilos of tea annually, as well as 3 rubber estates totalling 983 acres producing 0.3 million kilos. The Group also owns the largest cinnamon plantation in the country.
Company achieved one of its best performances to date, supported by improved labour productivity, outsourcing of certain activities to improve productivity, better cost management, diversification into more profitable crops and entry into joint ventures to improve performance of loss making units. It is noteworthy that this improved performance was despite adverse weather conditions that impacted agriculture in several areas of the country in 2017.
Maturata Plantations with a total forestry extent of 1,163.81 hectares has 967.31 hectares of commercial timber, 196.50 hectares of fuelwood and also 293.24 hectares of conservation areas on 19 estates under its purview. These are distributed in two geographical regions, with eleven estates situated in Nuwara Eliya and eight estates situated in the Deniyaya-Akuressa region.
Of the eight estates in Deniyaya-Akuressa region, five estates bordering the Sinharaja Forest Reserve act as a buffer zone to the Sinharaja Forest. There are a number of natural forest patches on these estates in addition to the planted commercial timber areas. The company is engaged in continuous commercial timber planting on unproductive lands. Plans are in the offing to plant Eucalyptus grandis on degraded tea lands in the upcountry estates as commercial timber and to plant Albiziamolucana on Deniyaya Estates as commercial timber and for the conservation of stream reservations in the near future.
Company will continuously pursue strategies of crop diversification into higher yielding crops such as Cinnamon, Timber, herbs and high value vegetables and fruits as well as value addition to primary products to reduce the over-reliance on traditional crops and safeguard the bottom-line from unforeseen changes in the external environment. Accordingly, the year ahead will see the cultivation of crops such as Cinnamon, with a target to expand to 1000 Ha Cinnamon by 2020-21 and the launch of a Cinnamon extraction project.