Biography

TOM ELLAWALA –CREATOR OF THE TOMEJC MANGO

A Pioneer in both the Mango field and the Gem Industry:  Coming from a background of agriculture and professionally trained in agriculture his life has been witness to a remarkable journey wedded to the earth, whether it be on the surface or underground. A visionary in the true sense he has been in the search for new answers to old issues throughout his entire life.
 

Early life:  On completion of training at the School of Agriculture, Tom spent his early years planting rubber in the village of Ellawala on land owned by his father. During this time gem mining was a hobby and he was one of the first to mine in the famous Elahera jungles.
 

Land Reform and change of focus:  At the age of forty, the passing of the Land Reform Bill in the early ‘70s, left him with only 50 acres and no means to support a young family. With the knowledge he had about gems he turned his attention to this on a full time basis.
 

He spent one year in Singapore and learnt the carefully guarded secrets of gemstone cutting.

Tom founded Ellawala Exports in 1978.  With a team of hardworking young men and women he guided the company to become a leading exporter of gems and jewellery in Sri Lanka.
 

In 1994 he was appointed the Chairman of the National Gem and Jewellery Authority where he was able to facilitate huge advances in the industry for the benefit of the country as a whole.
 

Back to the land: Tom retired from active participation in the gem business as the call of the land was proving to be overwhelming. The Company in 1992 had leased out from the State a block of about 140 acres in the Dambulla district. Soon, it was converted to a mango farm inter-planted with papaya and banana. For 10 years the farm ran at a loss. In 2002 he decided to spend time on making the farm a profitable venture.  Over 15 varieties of mango had been planted and he felt that it was time to specialize in a chosen variety.  The yield and flowering of the traditional varieties of Karthacolomban and Willard had proved to be inconsistent.
 

Around this time he met Dr Juan Carlos, a Philippine Consultant working with the ADB and based in Anuradhapura. Through regular interaction with him, he was able to identify a Mango which ultimately turned out to be the ideal fruit for Sri Lanka. It was fleshy with a small seed, golden yellow in colour when ripe, non fibrous with minimal tartness. With the help of the Department of Agriculture and the late Dr Carlos he was able to register the mango as TEJC (Tom/Ellawala Horticulture/Juan Carlos).
 

Tom’s vision is to make TJC mango into a valuable export crop for farmers throughout Sri Lanka’s dry zone.  The tree yields fruit through eight months of the year and unlike other native species it is a very regular bearer of fruit.  In keeping with this vision, the farm has been able to propagate more than 50,000 plants which have been planted by farmers throughout the Mahaweli areas.
 

In appreciation of his services to the country, the President of Sri Lanka bestowed the title of “Deshabandu” to Tom in 2004.
 

Where to Buy

During season, TJC Mangos are available at Rripe, Carlwil Place/Marine Drive, Kollupitiya and at all leading supermarkets.
 

For wholesale please contact

Email : ellawala.horticulture@gmail.com
Tel : +94112575756 (head office) or
  +9466567025 1(farm), 0779323334(Rripe), 0254929609(Rripe)