Sri Lanka’s Tea Board CESS fund is in tack and it has over Rs. 10 billion in it assured Tea Board Chairman Niraj De Mel at the Planters Association of Ceylon (PA) 169th Annual General Meeting on Friday in Colombo.
“We had a total of around Rs. 12 billion accumulated from 2010 and after using it for focused global marketing promotions the amount now remains over Rs. 10 billion”
He also recalled that during the COVID pandemic and the economic crisis that followed the main foreign exchange sources for Sri Lanka, foreign remittances, appeal exports, and tourism completely dried for two years. “It was the tea industry which brought around USD 1.2 billion helping the country to provide the much needed dollars to buy fuel, gas, medicine and other essentials.
He said that though China and India are the highest producers of tea accounting to 80% of the total production, thankfully 80% is consumed in their country.
“However, Sri Lanka still has to compete and steps must be taken to increase our export percentage which dropped even below 4% last year. We see a praise worthy recovery in both volumes and prices and this is very encouraging.”
He however said that exporters must ensure the best quality of Ceylon tea is exported and severe action would be taken against companies that export low quality tea. “We have a system to monitor them through our embassies.“
He also requested the tea stakeholders look at having a plan to have more ‘fuel wood’ for the future as electricity cost would be high.
Dew Gustina Tobing, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Sri Lanka Was the Chief Guest.
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