Sri Lanka tea industry poverty still high: FAO

Jan 30, 2012 (LBO) – Poverty levels in Sri Lanka’s tea industry are still too high and need to be addressed as a matter of priority, a senior official of the Food and Agriculture Organisation said. The FAO is also involved in the island’s tea industry and is supporting the National Institute of Plantations Managements to improve its outreach training capacity, Evans said. Patrick Evans, FAO country director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, said the tea industry is of critical importance to the island economy, employing over a million people.

The tea sector industry had been spared the worst effects of the island’s 30-year ethnic war which ended in 2009, Evans told the 20th Session of the FAO™s Inter-Governmental Group on Tea in Colombo Monday.

“However, poverty indicators say the tea sector is worse off than others. So we still have work to do,” Evans said.