Lankan plantation sector to net in USD 3.8 bn in 2022 | Daily News

Lankan plantation sector to net in USD 3.8 bn in 2022

Plantation Minister  Dr. Ramesh Pathirana addresses TEA AGM
Plantation Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana addresses TEA AGM

The plantation sector is looking at tapping an export revenue in the excess of USD 3.8 billion for 2022 the Minister of Plantation Dr Ramesh Pathirana said at the Tea Exporters Association AGM on Friday in Colombo.

He said that the tea industry exported a total of 228 million Kgs of tea in 2021, the revenue of about the US $ 1,320 million, rubber exports netted in over USD 1 billion, Coconut exports brought in USD 890 million while Cinnamon and other export corps total revenue was 3.8 billion. “Though there are world economic downturns and other negative factors, we are now looking to improve this for 2022.”

Sri Lanka received USD 695 million up to July from tea exports in 2022.

He said that he took over the ministry at a time when the industry was not doing well and a series of ad hoc and erroneous decisions also aggravated this. “However I now see things are moving better and the fertilizer issues will be settled for this season as the government hopes to import 15,000 metric tons through the assistance of the World Bank.”

He said the government through a Cabinet decision has also granted permission for the private sector to import fertilizer while the ban of Glyphosate fertilizer too has been revoked.

The Minister recalled that already 150,000 MT tons of fertilizer were imported and out of this 65,000 MT was given to the tea industry. We have also invested in the TRI institute to intensify their research on soil testing and for a mobile laboratory, 1,000 plant nurseries program and also on irrigation projects to benefit the plantation sector.

Also, the tea grower received under Rs. 100 for a kilo of ‘green leaf’ now gets around Rs. 300 and in some instances have even obtained a record price of Rs. 400.

He also said that sadly Sri Lanka has lost the number one position in the world tea market and has slipped to number four after China, India and Kenya. “Yes due to limited land mass we cannot compete for production quantity but as Sri Lanka is the ‘best tea’ in the world we can still compete for the top global spot in quality.”

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