by Steve A. Morrell
Asia Siyaka Tea Brokers said in their weekly market report that Rs. 19.2 billion earned from tea exports in January 2021 was a healthy indicator, which reflected a six per cent increase over the corresponding month in 2020.
In January 2020, tea export earnings were Rs. 18 billion (US$ 101 million).
The Sri Lanka Tea Board said production in January 2021 was 23 million kilos, a year-on-year increase in comparison to 21. 9 million kilos in January 2020.
Planters in Maskeliya attributed the enhanced production to continuous growing weather conditions through January, leading to a crop upsurge resulting in positive results for the industry.
The Asia Siyaka Tea Brokers report further said in the low grown sector, comprising mainly tea smallholders, year-on-year, gain was 14. 9 million kilos, which contributed to the positive results. Western and mid grown results, although positive, were not as high as low growns.
Turkey was the biggest importer of Ceylon Tea at 3.8 million kilos. Russia, Iraq and China, the report said, increased their buying at about 80 percent of the total market.
In addition, shipments were also recorded to select European markets and to the US. Such exports were described as minimal, but significant because of the possibility of increasing market conditions to these countries was a further indicator that Ceylon Tea was a positive brand.
Tea market sources said buyers in Germany, who considered Ceylon Tea as a recognized brand, laid more emphasis on Darjeelings and teas from Kenya, which were now in the preferred category.
Sri Lanka should ramp up its marketing campaign, the source suggested.
Pakistan which was one of Sri Lanka’s major buyers has now switched to Kenya. Ceylon Tea to Pakistan was barely two percent.
The tea smallholder sector in Sri Lanka continues to contribute around 75 percent of the production to the industry. There are around 400,000 smallholders who continue to contribute a major slice to the industry.
The tea garden marks, which scored top prices were New Withanakanda and Geekiynakanda. From the low growns. good results were also recorded from Somerset and Venture.
CBSL and IFC launch National Financial Inclusion Strategy
Sri Lanka’s first National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) aunched recently, aims to make financial services more accessible, efficient, and affordable for all households and businesses in the country.
The NFIS is a joint effort led by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka—with technical and financial assistance from IFC, a member of the World Bank Group—under the IFC-DFAT Women in Work program. The development of this strategy was a multi-stakeholder effort supported by the government of Sri Lanka.
“The National Financial Inclusion Strategy symbolizes our country’s commitment towards a better and inclusive Sri Lanka that will benefit all individuals and enterprises. I believe this strategy will complement the Government’s efforts to minimize the provincial income disparities, urban-rural inequalities, and to promote inclusive growth,” said Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.
“More importantly, this strategy prioritizes future generations, having identified financial literacy as a key pillar. The proposal to strengthen the national curriculum in this area is a positive step. Investing in the education of our younger generation is the most significant investment we can make as a nation, as this will be a particularly helpful approach to the systematic correction of the financial habits of Sri Lankans,” the Prime Minister said.
HNB – Havelock City partnership offers exclusive Ezy Pay Home Loans facility
HNB PLC has partnered with Havelock City mixed-use development project to offer prospective homeowners of state-ofthe-art luxury apartments in Stratford and Melford Towers (Phase 3 – COC certified) and Peterson and Edmonton Towers (Phase 4) with the exclusive Ezy Pay Home Loans facility.
The partnership is set to offer customers the unprecedented opportunity to make a payment of only 20% and immediately occupy the limited units available in Phase 3 of the project or invest in apartments available in Phase 4, scheduled to be completed by May 2021. Further, Havelock City will take on the customer’s interest payment for one year.
“We have witnessed an increase in the demand for apartments and are aware that there is a limited stock of units available in the heart of Colombo. Therefore, we hope that this partnership with Havelock City will offer our customers looking to invest in a home of their own the facility to either move into an apartment immediately or invest in a home of their dreams,” HNB Head of Personal Financial Services, Kanchana Karunagama said.
Prospective homeowners can make use the bank’s flexible repayment options, such as the Step-up facility, which offers a repayment option in line with the customers evolving income. Customers can also obtain a maximum repayment period of 25 years for the loan facility for an attractive interest rate starting from just 7%.
DPL lends a hand to children in Monaragala Rubber Farming Communities
As part of its ongoing efforts to empower and uplift the livelihood of its farmer co-operative societies, Dipped Products PLC (DPL) distributed school bags to the children of 1,500 smallholder rubber farmers for the 10th consecutive year, under its flagship Firstlight CSR project.
This year’s distribution recorded the largest donation of school bags, which was nearly a two-fold increase from the previous year, bringing the total value of the distribution up to nearly Rs. 1 million.
Taking place at the Pinwatta Bodimalu Viharaya in Medagama, Monaragala, this latest distribution marks the Company’s continued efforts to support the smallholder rubber farming communities, by ensuring that their essential needs are looked after.
“Especially in this time of economic uncertainty, with the nation facing significant challenges and hardships, it is truly touching to see the positive impact which we continue to have on the underprivileged smallholder rubber farming communities. We believe that programmes like Firstlight hold the key to enhancing the livelihoods of our 1500-strong rubber farmers, providing them with an improved quality of life, whilst paving the way to open up new opportunities and a brighter future. This is why, with the enthusiastic response we have received over the years, we have now also expanded this school bag distribution to include the District of Kegalle,” Dipped Products Deputy Managing Director, Pushpika Janadheera said.
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