Tea harvest in Sri Lanka dropped by 50 per cent, reveals Opposition Leader


The reputation of Ceylon Tea is being tarnished due to the government’s arbitrary decision of banning fertiliser, driving the tea harvest to be dropped by 50 per cent, divulged Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa, during his meeting with the tea farmers in Wanduramba Mabotuwana, Baddegama Electorate, Galle District today (13), in another phase of the Govi Hadagesma (Pulse of the Famrer) initiative undertaken by the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) in addressing the hassles faced by the farming community of Sri Lanka.

Due to the crisis, the tea industry is suffering from a severe setback and the livelihood of the tea farmer is being devastated, the Opposition Leader pointed out. In the backdrop, there are not enough tea leaves to operate the factories, he revealed.

The Opposition Leader raised suspicion as to whether the situation was a part of a conspiracy to destroy the reputation of ‘Ceylon Tea,’ which has won the heart of millions of people around the world.

T-65 fertiliser is essential for tea nurseries and when the nursery is not properly nourished the tea plant and the grown trees could deteriorate thereby losing the ability to produce quality seedlings, Premadasa noted. As tea leaves are being plucked the tree loses some of its nutrients, due to which the supply of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium would be mandatory, he went on, adding that the farmer, on the other hand, is unable to fulfill this requirement due to the government’s decision.

As a result, tea plants of shorter lifespans will grow, and the ability to grow long lasting tea plants will be lost, he added.

In the event that successful commercial tea cultivation cannot be performed with the mere use of organic fertiliser, the tea industry in Sri Lanka has fallen into dire straits, Premadasa further noted.

MP Gayantha Karunathilake, former Minist Piyasena Gamage, former MP Wijepala Hettiarachchi, former MP and SJB Baddegama Chief Organiser Bandula Lal Bandarigoda and other public representatives of the SJB were present in the occasion.

MIAP

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