Most of the tea produced in the island country is exported, and the major exporting destinations include Russia, Turkey and Iran, the minister said
Sri Lankan minister Ramesh Pathirana on Wednesday said small tea growers contribute around 77 per cent of the island country's total production, and the government is providing subsidiy to the STGs.
Speaking at a BIMSTEC event on tea organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce here, Pathirana said Sri Lanka is also trying to adopt technology to raise productivity.
There is a need to protect the existing markets and also go for value addition. Our government is giving subsidy to the small tea growers to support replantation activity, adoption of technology and best agricultural practices," he said.
Most of the tea produced in the island country is exported, and the major exporting destinations include Russia, Turkey and Iran, the minister said.
Sri Lanka produced 250 million kg of tea last year, which is expected to go up to 280 million kg in this calendar year, he said.
"The biggest challenge is the shrinking global market for tea, Pathirana added.
Speaking on the occasion, MD of Goodricke Tea Atul Asthana said the per capita consumption of the beverage in India has remained static, with STGs contributing close to 55 per cent of the total production of around 1,350 million kg.
"There is a lack of initiative on the part of the Tea Board for supporting generic promotional campaign. This is required to boost internal consumption, Asthana said.
An official of the Tea Board said lack of funds is the reason for the statutory body not being able to support any generic campaign.
"We are going for digital and social media promotion, targeting the youth, she said.