Holistic approach to develop tea industry: President reviews proposals | Daily News

Holistic approach to develop tea industry: President reviews proposals

 Loss making estate companies to be restructured:
Priority for re-cultivation for a higher yield:
Tea research to take a novel path:

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

Experts in the field said that long, medium and short-term plans should be set up after scrutinising loss making estates to increase tea exports and its revenue.

The President said the 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. The President was participating in a meeting to discuss future activities of the State Ministry of Company Establishment Reforms, Tea Estate Crops, Tea Factory Modernization and Tea Export Diversification at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (7).

Ten of the 20 major plantation companies are inoperative. The production 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 soon and to provide permanent solutions for the 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,” Head of the Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival Basil Rajapaksa said. The need to rehabilitate tea estates and regularise cultivation to produce higher yields was also discussed.

Head of the Presidential Task Force on Economic RevivalBasil Rajapaksa highlighted the need to provide reliefs to tea growers to engage in self-employment or other livelihoods until the tea plants reach the yielding stage.

Experts believe that the setback in the tea industry is caused due to ignorance of the findings made by researches in the field. They highlighted the requirement of prioritizing research developments and pursuing new markets for the product.

Expanding the bio tea industry and securing a better profit from its high demand in the world market was also focused. President Rajapaksa highlighted the importance of strengthening the plantation management and supervision.

Representatives from the small tea estate sector commended the President for his wise decisions during the curfew period under the COVID 19 pandemic which protected nearly 421,000 small tea estate owners across the country.

Minister Ramesh Pathirana, State Minister Kanaka Herath, Head of the Presidential Task Force for Economic Revival Basil Rajapaksa, Secretary to the President P.B. Jayasundera, Secretaries of the Cabinets and State Ministries, Officials of the Line institutes, representatives from the tea estate owners and planters were present.