Crash program necessary to uplift standards :
Govt mulls 88 percent tea production from smallholders
The Government plans to get tea smallholders to contribute 88 percent
of the total national tea production. It is necessary to commence a
crash program to uplift the standards of cultivation among tea
smallholders, said Plantation Industries Minister, D.M. Jayaratne.
“Seventy-four percent of the national tea production last year was
produced by the tea smallholders and we hope to increase it by 14
percent by the end of the year.
The national tea production last year was 318.46 million kgs and of
the total production the tea smallholders produced 235.7 million kgs,”
President, Tea Smallholders Development Authority, Noel Kariyawasam
said, “During the first quarter of 2009, the tea smallholders produced
125 million kgs. The subsidy under the program for one acre of tea
cultivated by smallholders will be Rs. 190,000 - 200,000.”
“The up-country tea smallholders production during the first quarter
of 2009 increased over 30 percent, although the mid-country tea
production dropped. At present there is a great demand for tea and we
are in the process of educating the cultivators at village level”, he
Chairman, Tea Smallholders Association, Nevil Ratnayake said, “At
present the average yield per acre is 400 and we hope to increase it up
to 600 this year.
We are in the process of replanting the trees and that would help
The fertilizer subsidy given to cultivators is important since it
adds quality to the production”.
At a glance
*125 m kgs production in 1 Q
*Subsidy for tea cultivators
*Over 30 percent increase in up-country tea production