J.M. Thilakarathna Banda
The Ministry of Plantation, the Small Holdings Development Authority, the State Ministry of Company Estate Reforms, Tea Estate Related Crops, Tea Factory Modernisation and Tea Export Promotion, launched a project to facilitate tea nurseries across the country to boost tea production. Creating a new set of entrepreneurs related to the tea industry is also a key target of the project while its primary target is to produce 25 million tea plants in three years.
“The government provides a grant of Rs 500,000 to each tea nursery owner who will produce over 50,000 plants at a time, under the project.
According to the agreement we signed with them, these nurseries must continue for three years,” the Secretary to the State Ministry of Company Estate Reforms, Tea Estate Related Crops, Tea FactoryModernisation and Tea Export Promotion J.M. Thilakarathna Banda told the Sunday Observer Business. The launch ceremony was held Kegalle on Friday where 48 nursery owners were granted funds. Minister of Plantation Dr. Ramesh Pathirana and State Minister Kanaka Herath were also present.
Forty-five tea nursery owners in the district were also absorbed into the project.
“Sri Lanka’s tea industry urgently needs replanting to increase the yield.
Hence we need at least 50 million tea plants per year for replantation and this program alone can produce 25 million plants per year,” the Secretary said. The State Ministry expects that the balance 25 million needed will be met by tea estate companies of the private sector.
On average, Sri Lanka produces about 300 million kg of tea per annum whil owners were granted funds. e tea production this year is forecast to be at 280 million kg due to the global pandemic. Following the completion of the three-year replanting project in existing tea estates, the government expects an annual tea production of 330 million kg.