Sri Lanka to hike tea output marginally

September 1st, 2008 - 9:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Sep 1 (IANS) One of the highest tea producers and exporters in the world, Sri Lanka plans to marginally increase its production to 320 million kg this year, an official from the island said Monday.”We plan to increase production marginally this year. It was 310-315 kg last year. We want to make it 320 kg this year,” Sri Lanka Tea Board chairman Lalith Hettiarachchi told reporters here.

Hettiarachchi said his country wanted to control production because if output goes up by 2.5 percent, consumption increases by 1.5 percent only, leading to a surplus in supply, in turn reducing prices.

Sri Lanka, he said, exported 95 percent of its tea output. The tea industry is one of the main foreign exchange earners in Sri Lanka. Last year the country earned $1.2 billion from tea exports.

“In 2007 we exported $1.2 billion worth of tea and in the current year our exports would touch $1.5 billion,” Herttiarachchi said.

The Sri Lanka Tea Board is signing an agreement Monday with the Indian Tea Board for mutual recognition of tea tasting certification of both the countries.

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