COLOMBO, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka aims to produce 315 million kg of tea this year, up 5 percent from last year, Minister of Plantation Industries Navin Dissanayake was quoted as saying by local media on Wednesday.
Tea production dropped to 303 million kg in 2018, down 1 percent from 2017, mainly because of a drought, excessive rains, a ban on glyphosate and a widely used weedicide, Dissanayake said.
Plucking of tea last year was also interrupted by a temporary protest by union workers who demanded for higher pay.
Dissanayake said this year, production is expected to recover due to more conducive weather and limited relaxation of the weedicide ban. Estates can resume their operation after a negotiated deal on a wage hike for workers.
"We want to raise production for which estates need to infill and replant," he said.
The Sri Lankan government said last week that it was all set to launch a mega global campaign to promote its popular Ceylon Tea this year in order to boost tea exports.
The global campaign will first start off in China in May and in Russia in September followed by Germany, Ukraine and Japan.