500 tea plant nurseries to be set up | Daily News
Plans to increase high quality tea saplings supply

500 tea plant nurseries to be set up

Plantation State Minister Kanaka Herath presenting financial and other subsidies for the establishment of tea nurseries.
Plantation State Minister Kanaka Herath presenting financial and other subsidies for the establishment of tea nurseries.

Plans are afoot to increase the annual supply of quality high quality tea saplings from 3 8 million to 50 million aiming to improve national tea production, Plantations State Minister Kanaka Herath said.

Accordingly, it has taken measures to establish 500 new tea plant nurseries countrywide to reach the goal of supplying 50 million tea saplings per annum.

The State Minister was inaugurating the project to establish 500 tea plant nurseries at Kegalle and Dehiowita. The project is carried out with the assistance of 500 private sector cultivators, who run those nurseries to produce hi-breed quality 50 million tea saplings per annum.

Each cultivator is offered financial and material subsidies worth Rs.500,000 from the Ministry including water pumps, net-house materials and several other physical resources. Besides the required technology to produce a quality tea sapling is provided by the Small Tea Estate Development Board (STEDB).

Of the 500 tea nurseries it has been scheduled to establish 100 nurseries in the Kegalle district aiming to produce three million quality tea saplings from the district.

State Minister Herath said eventhough the annual requirement of tea saplings is around 50 million, it has been noticed that the average annual tea sapling production is around 36 million and therefore tea growers face much difficulties in receiving the total requirement of tea saplings. As a result of this scarcity, tea growers tend to cultivate low quality tea plants, which don’t give high yield.

“Moreover the scarcity of quality tea saplings directly affects the quantity of national tea production. As a measure to bridge the gap between supply and demand of tea plants it has been decided to establish 500 tea nurseries promptly mainly base in the tea cultivating districts,” the State Minister said.

Each nursery will produce at least 50,000 quality tea saplings per annum and each sapling will be purchased at Rs. 25 each by the STEDB to be distributed among tea growers. Then the nursery holders need not to worry about the market since the STEDB will purchase the entire production upto three years. After the three year period the nursery holders are free to sell their production at a reasonable price to tea growers.

The State Minister further said that it is needed to increase the national tea production by introducing high quality tea varieties, which produce high yield. When reaching this target it is important to replace the low yield tea varieties with high yield tea varieties. With the high quality 50 million tea plants, it has been scheduled to carry out tea re-plant, new-plant, tea infilling and cultivate tea as a sub-crop with a view to increase national tea production which directly help to strengthen the GDP of the country.