“The tea industry needs a stable policy, direction and expertise if it is to play a significant role in the economy. There is a desperate need for a TEA AUTHORITY which would be vested with full control over the industry, pursuing an astute 10 year plan.
The need to rehabilitate the industry – via replanting, factory development, legislation against rampant abuses by some producers and exporters and to provide an incentive package funded largely by a cess, targeted towards building fully Sri Lankan owned brand names, is a desperate need now.
A carefully managed replanting program will reverse the trend of decreasing crops; higher yields will also make prices more attractive to traders. The potential of our plantations has been unfairly discounted.
They are able to play a very significant role in our economy, if they are not taken for granted any longer.
I am confident that the new Minister of Plantations and the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tea Board, who present a strong, capable team, will initiate action to help salvage the industry.”