SL Tea Production Not Affected By Drought - Tea Board

Tea Board Promotions Director  Hasitha De Alwis says that  prevailing drought in up-country  will not affect  Sri Lanka’s Tea production as 63 percent of the  tea production is being received via low-grown tea.

 

Speaking to Asian Mirror , he said that  the drought in the first quarter is unlikely to affect the overall tea production process. However, he added that  if  the drought  persists, it will have a adverse effect on the  low-country tea production.
He also said that this year’s target was to boost production by 1.5 to 2 percent,  345 million in  kilograms. However he pointed out that the industry will be able to reach the 340 kg mark  by  end of the year depending on fine weather conditions.
According to him the  industry recorded   340 million kilograms tea production in 2013 which was a 3.6 percent growth, in comparison to the year 2012, earning  a revenue of  US$ 1.5 billion from country’s second largest export crop.
Commenting on   more than 400,000 tea smallholders who  are affected by present weather conditions, De Alwis said  the  majority of them  were from low-grown areas and  there are regional plantation companies to address issues  if any.
However, Asian Mirror learnt that  drought has cut Sri Lanka’s tea production by 50 percent causing a threat  to the livelihoods of those engaged in  the tea industry.
Plantation Minister  Mahinda Samarasinghe has also said that  drought’s effect on smallholders was “quite disturbing”.
On the contrary  De Alwis told Asia Mirror that  tea industry was not greatly affected by prevailing  drought  so far.

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