Sri Lanka to get Chinese support in tea cultivation

July 09, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s tea industry expects to get support from China to improve plant breeding and cultivation, Sri Lanka Tea Board chairman Lalith Hettiarachchi said.

“We hope to do that in the very near future at a government-to-government level,” Hettiarachchi said. He said scientists from both countries, both big tea producers, recently established contact with each other and plan to enter into a formal programme to exchange technology and knowledge.

“China is the home of the tea plant,” Hettiarachchi said. “There’s a wide diversity of tea germ plasm available with the Chinese tea research institute.

“Our scientists have made contacts with the Chinese TRI and they were very helpful in the talks with us.”

The contacts were made during the recent visit by Sri Lankan scientists and tea industry officials to China for the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation Inter-Governmental Group on Tea meeting of tea producing and consuming countries.

Hettiarachchi said the Sri Lankan delegation visited the Chinese TRI for talks.

“They are ready to collaborate with us, to share their experiences, especially in technical matters like plant breeding,