Plantation Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana speaking at a discussion held at the Ministry Auditorium in Sethsiripaya, Battaramulla recently said that tea plants will be provided free of charge to any grower who wishes to cultivate them from next year.
According to the current system, it takes about 3 1/2-4 years to harvest and the growers are discouraged, he said, adding that growers will come forward to cultivate tea according to the new system.
He also said that by adopting this cultivation method, it will be possible to make a revolutionary change in the tea industry in the country within the next three years.
The Minister further added that,
Tea should be cultivated in new lands. From next year, tea seedlings will be provided free of charge and financial assistance will be provided for land preparation. We encourage every tea grower to cultivate.
It is not possible to get a high yield of tea through traditional methods. As a result, growers' interest in cultivation has waned. We must now turn to new methods. Instead of manual tea plucking, we should focus on tea plucking machines. Many countries in the world are adopting such new technologies in tea cultivation.
We hope to use the barren lands that are not currently used for tea cultivation when moving to new cultivation. Steps will be taken to implement this project from the beginning of next year. The Minister further stated that these methods will be able to revolutionize the tea industry in the country.
Kanaka Herath, State Minister, Ravindra Hewawitharana, Secretary to the Ministry of Plantation and other Ministry officials also participated in the discussion.