Colombo, Dec 30 (IANS) Sri Lanka’s tea industry will launch an ambitious 10-year master plan titled “Road Map 2030”, aimed at the rapid modernization of the island country’s tea sector through technological intervention, a top official said on Monday.
Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) Chairman Jayampathy Molligod, said here that the plan would be “focusing on the entire tea value chain” in order to set the industry on a path of profitability and environmental sustainability, while ensuring tangible benefits for local communities, reports Xinhua news agency.
According to the Tea Exporters Association, from January to October this year, Sri Lanka produced 253,738 metric tonnes of tea, of which 246,945 metric tonnes (97 per cent) was exported.
Sri Lanka’s main tea export destinations include Iraq, Turkey and Russia.
Molligoda also said that industry stakeholders including associations of tea planters, factory owners, traders, and small holders, would take into consideration the various challenges such as global tea market trends and competitor capabilities when formulating the master plan.
“We are to look at tea as a beverage in the global market, worth $38 billion as compared with our narrow perception of tea industry as a perennial crop, generating only $1,450 million per year,” Molligoda said.
The private stakeholders will work alongside a separate five-year development plan for the tea industry currently being formulated by Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Plantation Industries and Export Agriculture.