Gerry Jayawardena, chairman of the Tea Research Institute, said the new types of tea plants were needed given changes in climate and consumer preferences for food grown without use of chemicals.
"We're now coming out with the '5000' series of cultivar which we intend to release in two years," he told a news conference after the opening of a Food and Agriculture Organisation meeting on tea in Colombo.
"The new varieties are now being tested with small holders and regional plantations companies.
Jayawardena said the new tea cultivars have a higher yield than existing ones and better ability to tolerate drought, disease and pests.
correction/types of tea