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Tea crop levels increase, but prices lower than in 2020

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By Steve A. Morrell

Although tea crop levels increased at end July 2021, prices in the same period of 2020 were comparatively at higher levels, latest tea reported indicated.

Brokers’ tea market reports from Asia Siyaka, Tea Brokers, John Keels PLC, Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers, weekly tea reports said production at end July 2021 recorded positive increases of 20 percent for the comparative period, 2021 production at 187.8 million kgs, exceeded 2020 production of the same period. Production at end July last year was 156.9 million kgs.

Plantation sources who declined identification informed ‘The Island’ that these positive results were attributed to salient weather conditions at all elevations. The Western slopes, Mid growns, and low elevation wet zone areas, all recorded positive increases in production. They conceded that agricultural practices too formed significant positives contributing to these positive results.

It is on record that the small holder sector produced some 75 percent tea to enhance production. However, although such positive results were recorded, and their earnings literally doubled, they have been cautioned that leaf standards should also be maintained.

Quoting the Asia Siyaka Tea report, they said low growns are at a healthy112.6 million kgs about 22 percent above 2020 results. 2020 results were 92.3 million kgs. Similarly all elevations recorded plus variances.

John Keels Plc Tea report said Colombo was supported last week by Turkey ,Iran,, Russia, CIS countries, Libya, Iraq, and others. Prices in Colombo were at competitive levels including 27.4 thousand kilos green tea increasing green tea production to 1.3 million kilos. Additionally CTC production as well showed increases recording prices above 2020 levels.

Comparatively producing countries quoted by John Keels Plc, reported positive results except Kenya. Sri Lanka, North and South India, \Bangladesh, Malawi were countries with positive results in production. Reasons for drop in production in Kenya were not known,

Prices recorded last week were by and large influenced by the Uva quality season, recording prices from Rs. 1850, to the flowery grades selling at Rs. 2150. Per kilo. Uva selling marks recognized for their outstanding quality maintained their reputation contributing to positive market results.



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SLTMobitel-PEOTV and DP Education launch ‘Videsa DP Education’

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SLT-MOBITEL, the National ICT, Telecommunications and Mobile Services Provider has teamed up with DP Education, to launch ‘Videsa DP Education’, a dedicated educational channel on CH.215 of SLTMobitel–PEOTV, ensuring school children from Grade Five to Advanced Level have access to a high-quality learning experience with Rewind TV.

The revolutionary services of SLTMobitel-PEOTV includes ‘Videsa’ a series of educational channels hosted on the platform, that comprise of 06 TV channels dedicated to individual grades covering grades 06 to 11, that enhance the knowledge sharing with curriculum-centered lessons from a panel of reputed teachers. DP Education, a unique online learning platform, leverages digital solutions to deliver quality education to empower students. Together, Videsa and DP Education, enrich the educational arena further with the ‘Videsa DP Education’ channel, a dedicated television space for the students at home.

This path-breaking partnership is a commitment by SLTMobitel–PEOTV to support the education of children, whose options are limited due to the challenges convergence posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative will use the home TV screen and mobile devices as a ubiquitous medium to impart knowledge providing access to quality education for students across the country.

Commenting on the initiative, Rohan Fernando, Group Chairman, SLT said, “We understand that parents are now faced with the challenge of keeping their children safe during the pandemic as well as having to deal with the ongoing disturbances to their children’s education. As a solution to ensure that their learning remains uninterrupted, we have already introduced six different channels for Grade 6 to Grade 11 students through our Videsa digital platform. Our latest initiative and partnership with DP Education has now enabled us to launch a dedicated channel with unique learning experiences in key subjects such as Mathematics, Science and English for students from Grade 5 to Advanced Level with the Rewind TV facility. We are appreciative of the exceptional efforts extended by Mr. Dammika Perera and his team at DP Education and are grateful for the opportunity to connect the two learning platforms together in unison to create a revolutionary learning experience for our children”.

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Thornton and Dane’s combined projects portfolio tops Rs 5.9 billion

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Thornton Engineering, the Nextventures owned civil engineering company, has announced the acquisition of a 100% stake in Dane Engineering (Pvt) Ltd. for Rs 350 million, creating a construction business with a combined portfolio of Rs 5.9 billion.

The new entity, Thornton and Dane Engineering, expects to add new construction projects with a cumulative value of Rs 5 billion within the current financial year, nearly doubling its projects portfolio, the Company said in its announcement.

“We are excited at the post-acquisition prospects for the new company, because we strongly believe that it is a good example for the concept of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts,” said Thornton and Dane Director Dinesh Schaffter. “The combined strengths of Thornton and Dane create a formidable as well as extremely flexible engineering company that is capable of executing projects of varying scope and scale.”

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Capacity-building programs for SMEs

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Sri Lanka Chamber of Small and Medium Industries (SLCSMI), the apex body for SMEs in Sri Lanka has been at the forefront in supporting the SMEs during the pandemic. The chamber took several measures since the pandemic first hit the country in the first quarter of 2020. The Webinar series “Way Forward for SMEs” was a grand success among other initiatives, which was conducted with the participation of prominent scholars, leading business personalities as well as top rankers of state and private sector organizations.

The president of SLCSMI, Prof. Rohan De Silva said: “We are always there to represent and support the SMEs in the country and that’s our prime duty. During the first wave, we understood the need to share the knowledge and provide psychological support for the business owners to withstand the difficult times and that’s how the webinar series was born. Our initiative was well received by the businesses and our audience was not limited to Sri Lanka alone, as we witnessed participants from around 12 countries.”

Prof. Rohan further said that the chamber has looked at the possibilities of providing sustainable solutions to the SMEs beyond merely conducting knowledge sharing sessions and the Executive Committee has decided to introduce a range of Capacity Building programs to develop the SMEs. These programs include different solutions to address various gaps among the SMEs and the chamber intends to issue a valuable certificate for the participants of these programs.

The chamber has partnered with the Asia Pacific Institute of Money and Entrepreneurship Development (iMED) to design and deliver the programs and the details of the Programs will be unveiled at the launching event scheduled to be held on the 25th of September.

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