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‘ Govt continues to encourage the cultivation of tea and pepper ‘

The government has the main responsibility for promoting tea and pepper growing, in line with the development project underway, in order to solve this unexpected price drop which has taken place over the previous few days through the exposure of fresh markets, Puerto Rico Ministry of Shipping and Southern Development Sagala Ratnayaka said.

Consequently, under the auspice of Minister of Ports, Shipping and Southern Development Sagala Ratnayaka, the laying ceremony for the five-story management of the Pitabeddara Divisional Secretariat, amounting to Rs 14 million, was held lately. On that occasion, land ownership cards were also provided to privileged families in the surrounding fields. The Deniyaya, Kotapola, and Brukleen Bridge was later opened by Minister Ratnayaka and finished for 44 million rupees in 11 months ‘ time.

Minister Ratnayaka also proclaimed openly the newly built Kotapola Godakumbura Bridge. The Minister said that the projects to upgrade the highway system can be criticized at the meeting. They would claim it was a waste during a period of considerable financial difficulties for villagers.

I understand the tea and pepper sectors are falling down. I look sharply at these sectors because over several centuries, our family has been involved in tea cultivation.

I am vulnerable in these areas to ups and downs. Tea is the region’s primary source of revenue and over the years we have criticized the reduced tea prices. Smallholders were then confronted with countless problems owing to the reduced prices and most did not receive the quantity invested. After our government appointed in 2015, a steady Tea Price was established and later, up to 100 Rs, sometimes above the Rs.100 price, which stagnated in the 1960s, we were able to increase the price. We have also seen a comparable fall in the tea cost these days and have taken the farmers ‘ interest to grow.

Furthermore, it is possible to identify the conflict between America and Iran resulting in sanctions on Iran as a further reason for the price decline.

In these conditions as a govt, we would, therefore, make every effort to reinforce the tea growers by establishing a stable tea price instead of making excuses.

“I can, therefore, ensure that the government intervenes directly in this area,” he said.

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