Jan 05, Colombo: Sri Lanka Tea Small Holders Association says that a disease spreading in tea plantations in the Southern Province has affected the harvest.
Head of the Federation of Tea Small Holders' Associations, Lal Premanath says the disease, named as Deniyaya disease, has caused a significant drop of income of the tea growers.
He pointed out that around 35,000 tea small holder families are engaged in the industry in Deniyaya and the tea produced in the area is well-known for its high quality.
Premanath accused that the Tea Research Institute of Deniyaya has not taken steps to control the disease.
However, the Officer-in-Charge of the institute said the disease is not new and it has been reported time to time since 1995 and not highly detrimental.
The official said that the measures have been taken to control the disease. However the Tea Small Holders Association head said that swift action is needed and the farmers may lose their livelihood otherwise.