Home / Front Page/ Plantation Ministry mulls special fund to assist tea industry

Plantation Ministry mulls special fund to assist tea industry

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Thursday, 14 June 2018 00:09


By Charumini de Silva

In a bid to face any downturn in the tea sector, Plantation Industries Minister Navin Dissanayake on Tuesday said the setting up of a special fund of Rs. 5 billion within the next three months is under consideration. 

 “I want to have a special fund set up for the tea industry, where it will assist the stakeholders in the replanting process as well as to meet any emergencies. I’m thinking that in about another two to three months we’d be able to set up this fund,” Dissanayake told the Daily FT.

Dissanayake pointed out that this additional fund would be collected and governed by the tea industry. “I don’t want to interfere in any of these. All I want is to set up the mechanism for the industry. If the industry can agree on a particular price, then I can set it up and they can govern it themselves. I think that’s the best way forward,” he added.

He said that all stakeholders had agreed that replanting was very poor and it was one of the major drawbacks within the tea industry.

“Right now the issue for the future is replanting and 73% of the total tea production is coming from tea smallholders. Although we need 2% of the total replanted per annum, perhaps only 1% is replanted. Therefore it’s important to provide these tea smallholders with a subsidy for the loss of income during the whole process of one and half to two years, when they stop for planting,” he stressed.

According to the Minister, to replant 2% of the total land the Government would need at least Rs. 8 billion a year.

“When prices are good, nobody even talks about it but when prices are down everybody wants subsidies. This mentality has to be changed,” he stated.

He noted that the current tea fund collected over the years from the levies would be phased out within the next one and half years and there was a clear need for an additional fund for replanting and for emergency situations.

Dissanayake said that they were looking at several models to set up the fund, but there was no consensus from the industry yet.

“I will try and discuss it with them further, failing which I will make a decision in the interest of the industry, which I can do. I cannot be diplomatic all the time,” he stated.

He expressed confidence that if the fund could be set up for the benefit of encouraging farmers to replant tea bushes, Sri Lanka’s tea industry would be able to hit at least 500-600 million kilograms of total tea production by next year from the current maximum production of 350 million kilograms.


Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

In the tropical terrain, tourism thrives, but!

Friday, 26 April 2019

In business school an oft repeated refrain in the marketing module is ‘get your product right’. It’s a task easier said than done, especially when it’s a service. Marketing of a service characteristically has to negotiate both lucidity and am

A secular public space is essential for the safety and wellbeing of all

Friday, 26 April 2019

The heart is heavy and the pen is slow. The environment is thick with the shared sorrow of many. Pain and suffering caused by deaths of hundreds and maiming of more on Easter of 2019 will linger for the rest of our lives. But life must go on and we m

Social media could be our egregious enemy, sometimes

Friday, 26 April 2019

One of the first moves the Government considered after the 21 April tragic events of coordinated Easter Sunday bombings of churches and hotels in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa was a temporary block of social media. There was no debate about requisi

Terrorism, violence, and incompetent political leadership

Friday, 26 April 2019

Incompetent people, the researchers found, are not only poor performers, they are also unable to accurately assess and recognise the quality of their own work. These low performers are also unable to recognise the skill and competence levels of other

Columnists More