21 Dec

Sri Lanka expects tea production to recover in 2023 to 300 million kilograms after output fell to 260 million kilograms in 2022 with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa banning fertilizer and agro-chemicals.“With the current conditions and the crop lost due to fertilizer issue and everything we expect around 260 million kilograms of tea by the end of 2022 which will bring the total revenue through tea selling to around 1.4 billion US dollars,” Chairman of Sri Lanka’s Platers’ Association Senaka Alawattegama said.“In 2023 we expect a total production of 300 million kilograms, with the fertilizer now being available again with other agro chemicals”.Fertilizer is now coming back to tea farms but at a sharply higher price, he said.President Gotabaya Rajapaska banned fertilizer and agrochemicals on the advice of the Government Medical Officers Association and a Buddhist monk.Then GMOA chief Anuruddha Padeniya had said to Pliny the Elder, a Roman author who had produced an encyclopedia about 2000 years ago, ancient Sri Lankans had lived for around 140 years and their life expectancy had now almost halved to 74 years due to agrochemicals.In 2021 Sri Lanka reversed the policy but fertilizer could not be imported due to foreign exchange shortages after Mercantilists in the country printed money for stimulus triggering the worst currency crisis in the history of the island’s central bank.Sri Lanka’s previous President Maithripala Sirisena had also banned glyphosate, a weedicide after others including Channa Jayasumana, a university lecturer who became a minister claimed a link between heavy metals in water and glyphosate. Heavy metals in water has been suspected of contributing to chronic kidney disease.Sri Lanka’s tea production was down 7.8 percent in September 2022 from a year earlier.In 2020 Sri Lanka has exported 265.57 million kilograms of tea and recorded a total revenue of 1.2 billion US dollars while in 2021, the nation had exported 286.02 million kilos and generated 1.3 billion US dollars.From January-September 2022, the total production was 192.37 million kilograms down from 234.72 million kilograms last year which was a 26 year low. 

source: economynext