- Imposes complete ban on tea imports to SL
- Minister outlines new measures to uplift tea cultivation
The Plantation Industries and Export Agriculture Minister has decided to set up a task force to address issues faced with regard to boosting tea production.
Plantation Industries and Export Agriculture Minister Ramesh Pathirana recently held a discussion with tea factory owners, where he outlined a number of measures to uplift tea cultivation as well as grant concessions to stakeholders.
Noting that the Cabinet approved to completely ban the importation of tea to the country, he said the Sri Lanka Tea Board, together with Sri Lanka Customs, was collectively working to prevent the importation of tea illegally under the ‘Other Food Items’ category.
The Minister said that a decision had also been made to set up a Tea Cultivation Task Force to address problems with the country’s tea production. He also pointed out that the Sri Lanka Tea Board had already initiated a free seedling program for the replanting of tea and provisions were being made for a replanting subsidy in the near future.
“We will establish a fund for the re-cultivation of tea as approved by the Cabinet during the previous regime. Regulations for this are now being vetted by the Attorney General’s Department and the submission will be presented to Parliament for approval,” Pathirana added.
In addition, the project proposed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to re-cultivate 10-50 acres of tea plantations will also be carried out simultaneously.
It was also highlighted that the replanting of tea is being coordinated by the Department of Agriculture along with the Agrarian Research Institute.
The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Export Agriculture has also taken steps to promote the Ceylon Tea brand in the international arena. (CdeS)