By Steve A. Morrel
Tea brokers reports this week commenting on price trends said price decreases in the first 6 months of this year’s trading compared to YOY 2020, are clear indication that tea quality gravely affected auction prices. Although some 7 million kilos were traded this week, and the low grown catalog indicated some 3 million kilos auctioned, demand was not described as increasing which left some doubt as to future price stability.
Sources said the lack of NPK (Nitrogen Phosphorous Potassium) mixture, in fertilizing tea lands already seriously affected productivity. It was also of relevance that leading buyers were leaving Colombo in preference to other auction centers for their requirements of the beverage, another trend that could seriously affect tea sales.
Forbes and Walker in their market report said June average 2021 was Rs.586.51. Comparatively June 2020 was Rs. 612.67, indicating yoy drop of some Rs. 26.16. per kilo, which tea sources said was a serious down grade in prices. Brokers’ tea reports at hand, Asia Siyaka Tea Brokers, and JKH Tea Brokers outlined the same information that Colombo was losing its significance as a tea center.
Of acute significance was the fact that the tea smallholder sector complained that the lack of fertilizer gravely affected their income on bought leaf delivered to tea factories. Green leaf delivered to each such factory was paid at Rs. 80. to Rs. 100 per kilo subject to the net sales average of each such factory, which was at a variable level. For example a family of tea smallholders, of about 4 persons, could produce at least 50 to 100 kilos green leaf per day giving them an earning level of about Rs.10,000 thousand per day. Such earnings are now gravely affected because of the drastic drop in crop harvest as a result of the lack of fertilizer.
Additionally they are also at a critical level balancing their finances, on payment of loans for furniture, TV sets, fridges and other household appliances purchased on loans, from banks or other lending agencies.
Fertilizer suppliers and scientists were of the view that replacement of imported fertilizer with alternatives, cannot be done as an ad hoc solution, but a move that would take at least 25 years of planning and study.
The current predicament that would apply to all plantation crops, not necessarily only tea, but all agricultural exports is that export of fruit, for example banana and mango, which hitherto attracted foreign investment, is now faced with such investors withdrawing their commitment, with the remark that uncertain and undependable policies changed at whim cannot attract sustained investment. It is reported that most investors pulled out leaving local investors in a position of insolvency.
The agricultural sector, including rice farmers too have been gravely affected. The expert views were that the country would face a famine situation because knee jerk policies enforced without proper planning would affect food supplies. because of these sudden changes. President, Asia Siyaka Tea Brokers Anil Cooke said Colombo’s prestige world wide as a recognized tea center was now in jeopardy because of dwindling standards. His views were that other countries would score at the expense of Ceylon Tea.
Sri Lanka Tourism introduces e-learning platform for all SLTDA registered tourist guides.
As an initiative to uplift the reviving tourism industry in the country, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority in collaboration with Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism & Hotel Management (SLITHM) have introduced the continuous professional development (CPD) e-learning platform to all registered guides to enhance their knowledge and skills.
The launch of the continuous professional development (CPD) e-learning platform took place this week under the patronage of Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga, Secretary of the Ministry S. Hettiarachchi and Sri Lanka Tourism Chairperson Kimarli Fernando.
“Tourist guides play an important role in our tourism sector as they spend a lot of time with visitors from arrival to departure. It is important that our guides stay updated on their professional/technical knowledge and I hope this e-learning platform by Sri Lanka Tourism will help them enhance their knowledge and skills” Sri Lanka Tourism Chairperson Kimarli Fernando shared while the Minister congratulated all the officials who were involved in bringing this initiative to reality.
Knowledge improvement, obtaining expertise knowledge from veterans, develop active participation with guests, improve the link between Tourism institutions & guides are some key objectives of this e-learning platform.
If you are a registered guide with SLTDA, you can now sign up on https://sltda.gov.lk/e-learning/login and avail of the online courses.
A certificate of completion will be given at the end of the course from SLTDA and SLITHM.
Impact of Climate Change on marine and fresh water resources and combating water pollution
Trilateral virtual dialogue among Pathfinder Foundation, Russian International Affairs Council and Asian Confluence
The Pathfinder Foundation (PF) has initiated a trilateral dialogue involving Sri Lanka, India and the Russian Federation to discuss issues of contemporary relevance. The first trilateral dialogue will be held to day 4:30 PM SLST on the “Impact of Climate Change on Marine and Fresh Water Resources and Combating Water Pollution: Best Practices from Russia, Sri Lanka and India”.
For this dialogue, Pathfinder Foundation will be partnering with Russian International Affairs Council and Asian Confluence.
The distinguished panellists for the webinar are, Ambassador GlebIvashentsov, Vice President, Russian International Affairs Council, Ambassador (Retd.) Bernard Goonetilleke, Chairman Pathfinder Foundation, Ambassador. IFS(Retd.) Rajiv Kumar Bhatia, Member Governing Council, The Asian Confluence and Distinguished Fellow, Gateway House,Dr. Anastasia Likhacheva, Director, Centre for Comprehensive European and International Studies, Higher Schoolof Economics, Dr. B. V. R. Punyawardena, Chairman, National Steering Committee on Climate Change Adaptation, Governmentof Sri Lanka, Dr. Fraddry D’Souza, Area ConvenerandFellow, The Coastal Ecology & Marine Resources Centre, TERI Goa,India , Dr. Konstantin Zgurovsky, Senior Advisor, Marine Programme, WWF Russia, Mr. Sarath Premalal, Retired Director General of Meteorology of Sri Lanka and Prof. Vinay Kumar Dadhwal, Director, Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology Professor Indira Gandhi Chair, National Institute of Advanced Studies, India
Those who are interested in participating may kindly register at the following link; https://bit.ly/3AZbYAN Program details are available at https://bit.ly/3zdUkY3 . The event will also be live streamed on the PF Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/pathfinderfoundation/
Doc990 and MyDoctor partner SLVA to extend accessible veterinary services islandwide
Sri Lanka’s premier digital health solutions service providers, Doc990 and MyDoctor are now enabling customers to access online veterinary services island-wide in partnership with the Sri Lanka Veterinary Association.
The national professional body serving and representing the interests of the veterinary profession in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lanka Veterinary Association (SLVA), is dedicated to providing continued excellence within the profession of animal medicine and the provision of outstanding care for all animals while also actively creating public awareness of the contribution of veterinarians island-wide.
This collaborative effort with Doc990 and MyDoctor will bring pet owners, owners of farm animals and good Samaritans the ability to access remote video consultations with leading, specialist veterinarians of their choosing, without the hassle of physically entering hospital waiting rooms, transporting animals etc. This timely, contactless service will not only be convenient but also a relief to pet owners and caretakers in the backdrop of travel restrictions as a result of the ongoing global pandemic.
Customers can engage in video consultations with their chosen vet by downloading the Doc990 mobile app from the Google Play Store or the Apple Store. Through its widening network of hospitals and medical services, Doc990 strives to make health care accessible and convenient for all Sri Lankans.
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