Jan 11, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government in this year's budget has taken measures to encourage the tea small holders to improve the condition of their tea lands to boost production.
Accordingly an additional once a year subsidy of Rs. 5000 per acre has been proposed in the budget for small scale tea estate owners for water and soil preservation and tea replanting.
The additional allowance will be presented from today to nearly 400,000 small tea estate owners in the country and the first round will be held today at Morawaka, Nagoda and at Rubber Research Institute in Agalawatta.
The presentation of allowance to small scale tea estate owners in the Kandy district will be held on the 17th of this month.
According to the Minister of Plantation Industries Mahinda Samarasinghe there are around 400,000 tea small holders in Sri Lanka who account for 76 percent of tea production. Most tea smallholders have less than one hectare each.
The Ministry in collaboration with the Bank of Ceylon has also launched a program to provide loans ranging from Rs.300,000 to Rs.500,000 at a 16 percent interest rate.