The practice of Chena Cultivation extends as far back as 5000 years and is the oldest form of agriculture farming in Sri Lanka.
Vegetables, cereals, grains and greens were cultivated in a Chena
Traditional farmers cultivated a Chena together. Each village consisted of a Chena and each villager was given a share of it. Before tilting the Chena, a forest area is cleared and set on fire. As Chena is a rain-fed cultivation method and seeds are cast a few days prior to rainfall.
The chena crop is safe-guarded from birds and animals using a pambaya (scarecrow) and takeya (rough metal object that produces loud sounds). A danduvata or wood fence is set up around the chena and farmers would take lodge in watch huts (Pela) to look after crops.