gossip lanka

Holistic approach to develop tea industry: President reviews number of proposals

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa emphasized that the tea industry which has suffered a severe setback should be revived based on a holistic approach.

Experts in the field pointed out that long, medium, and short –term plans should be implemented after scrutinizing loss-making estates in order to increase tea exportation and its revenue. President said the objective should be to reclaim the status enjoyed by Ceylon Tea in the global market in the past while identifying the factors contributed to the downfall of the industry.

President made these remarks during a meeting to discuss future activities of the State Ministry of Company Establishment Reforms, Tea Estate Crops, Tea Factory Modernization and Tea Export Diversification held at the Presidential Secretariat recently.

10 out of the 20 major plantation companies are inoperative. It was revealed that the production capacity of plantation companies has been declining rapidly in an environment where the small tea estates achieve higher production. The President instructed the officials to identify causes for losses and inactivity of these companies within a short period of time and to provide permanent solutions for these issues. It was decided to hand over loss-making plantations companies to the tea smallholders as a pilot project.

‘Losses at plantation companies should be thoroughly investigated in a context of where the infrastructure facilities including roads, hospitals, schools and sanitation have been provided by the government’, said the Head of the  Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival, Basil Rajapaksa. During this meeting the need to rehabilitate tea estates and regularize cultivation to produce higher yields was discussed detail.

Mr. Basil Rajapaksa pointed out the need to provide reliefs to tea growers to engage in self-employment or other livelihoods until the tea plants reach the yielding stage.