Post-harvest damages to tea leaves must be minimised – State Minister Herath | Daily News

Post-harvest damages to tea leaves must be minimised – State Minister Herath

Immediate action will be taken to reduce the post-harvest damage to tea leaves since such damage is high, Company Estate Reforms, Tea Estate Related Crops, Tea Factory Modernization and Tea Export Promotion State Minister Kanaka Herath said.

It has been reported that the rate of post-harvest damage of tea leaves is around 28 per cent and the high rate considered as a major obstacle to quality tea production. Besides, the post-harvest damage directly affects the quality parameters of processed tea including taste, colour and aroma.

The State Minister instructed the Tea Board and the Tea Small Holdings Development Authority (TSHDA) to take immediate steps to bring down the rate by implementing proper transportation mechanism for tea leaves since it has been identified that improper transportation causes the high rate of post-harvest damage.

Therefore, plastic crates will be introduced instead of sacks and guny-bags soon. Tea leaves will be transported to tea factories in plastic crates to minimise the post-harvest damage since the most important factor contributing to the high rate of post- harvest damage is the irregular transport of tea leaves. A crate with an iron frame that can be used for a relatively long period will also be introduced.

It has been proposed to supply tea leaf transporting crates to tea growers at a subsidy of 50 per cent of the value to popularise crates transporting.

According to the TSHDA statistics, about 8,000 lorries, trishaws and other vehicles are operating for transporting tea in 13 districts. These vehicles also need to be modified for transporting tea leaves to minimise post-harvest damage, TSHDA General Manager Prasanna Mahipala said.

State Minister Herath informed the TSHDA to inspect the vehicles and to make the employees of these vehicles bring down the post-harvest damage rate to get a high price for their production.