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Planters experimented with cocoa and cinchona as alternative crops but failed due to an infestation of Heloplice antonie, Further experimental tea plants were brought from Assam and Calcutta in India to Peradeniya in 1839 through the East India Company and over the years that followed.
By the late 1880s, almost all the coffee plantations in Ceylon had been converted to tea.In 1896 the Colombo Brokers' Association was formed and in 1915 Thomas Amarasuriya became the first Ceylonese to be appointed as Chairman of the Planters' Association.In 1925 the Tea Research Institute was established in Ceylon to conduct research into maximising yields and methods of production.It employs, directly or indirectly, over 1 million people, and in 1995 directly employed 215,338 on tea plantations and estates.
In addition, tea planting by smallholders is the source of employment for thousands whilst it is also the main form of livelihoods for tens of thousands of families.
Soon enough plantations surrounding Loolkandura, including Hope, Rookwood and Mooloya to the east and Le Vallon and Stellenberg to the south, began switching over to tea and were among the first tea estates to be established on the island.