COLOMBO, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's tea industry will launch an ambitious 10-year master plan titled "Road Map 2030" to rapidly modernize the island country's tea sector through technological intervention, local media, quoting Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) Chairman Jayampathy Molligoda, said here Monday.
Molligoda was quoted in state-owned Daily News as saying that the master plan would be "focusing on the entire tea value chain" in order to set the industry on a path of profitability and environmental sustainability, while ensuring tangible benefits for local communities.
Molligoda said that industry stakeholders including associations of tea planters, tea factory owners, tea traders, and tea small holders, would take into consideration the various challenges such as global tea market trends and competitor capabilities when formulating the master plan.
"We are to look at tea as a beverage in the global market, worth 38 billion U.S. dollars as compared with our narrow perception of tea industry as a perennial crop, generating only 1,450 million U.S. dollars per year," Molligoda said.
The private stakeholders will work alongside a separate five-year development plan for the tea industry currently being formulated by Sri Lanka's Ministry of Plantation Industries and Export Agriculture.
According to the Tea Exporters Association, from January to October this year, Sri Lanka produced 253,738 metric tons of tea, of which 246,945 metric tons (97 percent) was exported.
Sri Lanka's main tea export destinations include Iraq, Turkey and Russia.