Sri Lanka small farmer tea production falls sharply

ECONOMYNEXT – Tea small holders in southern Sri Lanka have been among the worst affected by the prolonged slump in prices with production down sharply, according to an analysis of crops by a tea broker Asia Siyaka Commodities.

Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) crop figures analyzed by Siyaka Research showed the worst slump in production was in low grown teas in the southern region which accounts for the bulk of the crop.

“Both High and Low Growns declined year on year with the latter elevation accounting for almost 85 percent of the national crop loss in 2015,” the brokers said in a new report.

“In the Low country sub districts Galle accounted for 50 percent of the production loss in 2015 year on year 2014,” it said.

Other growing regions like Deniyaya and Ratnapura too recorded losses, but were around a third of the Galle figure.

The island’s tea output fell to a three-year low of 328.96 million kilos in 2015, down three percent or 9 million kilos from the 2014 output, Asia Siyaka Commodities said. 

The highest annual production was 340 million kilos recorded in 2013. “Since 2010, national production has hovered around these levels,” the brokers said in the review of the industry.

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