Colombo, Jan 17 (IANS) The Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) on Friday said that it was aiming for $1.3 billion in earnings from the export of Ceylon Tea in 2020, and hopes to increase tea production to 340 million kg.
Local media reports quoting the SLTB said that it was currently finalizing strategies and targets for 2020 and beyond with industry stakeholders, reports Xinhua news agency.
“Both 2018 and 2019 had been flat years for Ceylon Tea and there has not been any growth at all. The tea industry both in terms of production and exports has not met the targets,” SLTB Chairman Jayampathy Molligoda said.
He added that all stakeholders have realized the need to get together and reach a consensus to improve the entire value chain.
“I am positive that the targets can be achieved with quality in mind,” Molligoda said.
According to official figures, tea output for 2019 was around 304 million kg similar to 2018, while tea export earnings were an estimated $1 billion in 2019, similar to 2018.
Earlier this month, the SLTB issued a circular with a supporting booklet to tea manufacturers in the island country, making it mandatory for them to improve the quality of tea leaves.
Iraq is the largest export market for Ceylon Tea followed by Turkey and Russia.
Other export destinations include China, Libya, Azerbaijan, Syria and the United Arab Emirates.