Foreign exchange amounting to US$ 1.59 billion was earned from tea exports last year and the earnings are expected to increase to US$ 1.9 billion this year.
The Tea Board has targeted US$ 2.1 billion in export revenues from tea this year. Officials of the Tea Board said that although there is stiff competition for Sri Lankan tea from Kenya, Vietnam and China, many importers prefer Sri Lanka tea and Sri Lanka tea fetch higher prices compared to foreign tea.
Minister of Plantation Industry Mahinda Samarasinghe said that his Ministry is dedicated to assist the tea and rubber industries in the country and it is only Sri Lanka tea that has earned the reputation of Ozone free tea at the Montreal convention.
The Minister also said that plans are also underway to launch vigorous tea promotion campaigns in several countries.
The Ministry provides Rs.350,000 worth concession for re- cultivating and Rs. 250,000 worth concession for new cultivations. These moves are also expected to increase the tea production. (niz)