Tea auction prices via SMS
Tea auction prices are to be relayed to tea smallholders via an SMS
message in the future to ensure better transparency in related
Plantations Industries Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe opening a new
tea factory in Hiniduma, said his ministry will soon introduce the
method and several other initiatives to help tea smallholders who
account for 76% of the national tea output.
The minister pointed out that according to the present price formula,
68 per cent of the auction price had to be given to the tea small
holders while factory owners retain 32 per cent.
However, the minister noted that most tea small holders were not
aware of the existing auction prices and added that the above move will
help to maintain transparency and better understanding between the two
parties when it came to financial transactions.
The minister also assured the growers that the government had no
plans to import tea from abroad as reported by certain media recently.
He said these reports were misleading and had no truth to them.
He assured the tea small holders that the government's intentions
were always to help and not harm them. He also told them that the
government in future would look at all possibilities to get a better
price for their produce.
Speaking on plans to further develop the industry, he said presently
tea exports fetch around Rs.,1.5 billion annually in foreign revenue and
that the government intends to increase this further to reach Rs.3 - 4
billion in the future.