Plantation agriculture involving large estates planted to tea, rubber, or coffee (or, in some South Indian examples to combinations of these) represent an exotic element in the cultural landscape of the region.
The estates are characterised by the estate village for the work force, the manager's home and headquarters, the processing plant and a high level of development of transport and communication.
It makes significant contribution to the economy of the country by earning valuable foreign exchange through the export of plantation products. Plantation agriculture was started during colonial days whose owners were mostly Europeans. After Independence the ownership has come over to the Indian capitalists.
There are presently 30,000 plantation estates growing tea, coffee and rubber and providing employment to about 2 lakh people.