The tea industry will be streamlined by introducing modern technology and its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will be thus increased, Plantations State Minister Kanaka Herath said.
He visited the Tea Research Institute (TRI) in Talawakele on Saturday. During his visit, he looked into the possibility of passing the knowledge and the knowhow to the tea stakeholders to improve their productivity. He also visited the Coombs Tea Factory in Talawakele and a tea factory with modern technology set up by the TRI at the Waltrim Tea Estate. The State Minister, while taking part at a panel discussion, said that it is a great pleasure to be at the TRI, which is the second oldest tea research institute of the world and to share knowledge with the experts and academics of the tea industry.
The State Minister said that in accordance with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s vision, the tea industry can be well used for economic prosperity. The Government also pays a special attention to uplift the tea industry, since it has a huge potential to be developed as one of a main income generators to the GDP.
“Revenue generated by the tea industry can be increased significantly by increasing the productivity and increasing the quality of the production as well. You all at the TRI have clearly analysed the issues relating to the tea industry, and it is praiseworthy that you have initiated to address and overcome those issues,” the Sate Minister said.
The Minister said that the TRI should go to the grass-roots level to share the knowledge and the expertise of the tea stakeholders including state and private sector. It is important to bring the tea stakeholders and institutions under one umbrella. Technical implementation, trainings and communication should come under one umbrella, State Minister Herath said.
He added that a workshop must be held to steer the industry on right track to get a huge forward jump from the next year.
“It is important to transfer the knowledge and knowhow of the experts of the TRI to the grass-roots level, even to the labourer,” he said.
The State Minister said that with the support of the line Ministry, it has been planned to strengthen the entire tea industry especially the technical aspects. In line with these technical improvements, the TRI, should be improved with modern technology as a technical hub of the tea industry.