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Tea Board optimistic about increased crop yield this year
  • The Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) remains optimistic about reaching 260 million kilograms with the implementation of a Rs.1.2 billion fertiliser subsidy for smallholder farmers this year.
  • SLTB Chairman Niraj De Mel anticipates a potential boost in production during the third quarter of the year, as heavy cropping months approach.

Despite a setback in March due to drought conditions, the Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) remains optimistic about reaching a production target of 260 million kilograms this year. Tea production declined by 12.20 percent year-on-year to 19.57 million kilograms in March, contributing to a cumulative decline of 2.26 percent despite growth in January and February. To boost production, the SLTB, in coordination with the Agriculture and Plantation Industries Ministry, is rolling out a Rs.1.2 billion fertiliser subsidy scheme aimed at encouraging fertiliser application among smallholders, who make up 70 percent of the country's tea output.

In response to challenges faced, including the ban on chemical fertilisers and adverse weather conditions, Sri Lanka's tea output recovered to 256.04 million kilograms in 2023. Despite lifting the ban on chemical fertilisers and agrochemicals, high fertiliser prices remained a hurdle for smallholders, leading to slower fertiliser application compared to larger companies. To address this, the SLTB plans to distribute 30,000 metric tonnes of subsidised fertiliser to smallholders under the scheme, with the first tranche of funds already allocated to Ceylon Fertiliser Corporation. This initiative aims to bolster tea production and support the smallholder sector in contributing to Sri Lanka's tea industry.

Tea Board optimistic about increased crop yield this year | Daily Mirror


Daily Mirror