The total national production for the year was 251.50 million kilos, compared with 299.49 million kilos in 2021. This was the lowest in 26 years, when 246 million kilos were produced in 1995.
The high-grown elevation produced 56.3 million kilos, a drop of nine million kilos on 2021, while the medium elevation production was 40.2 million kilos, compared with 51.0 million kilos in the previous year, a decline of 10.8 million kilos. The low-grown elevation, which is dominated by the smallholder sector, recorded 155 million kilos, losing approximately 28 million kilos or 15 percent, when compared with 2021. The production decline of the low elevation has contributed over 50 percent to the overall drop of national production for 2022.
The CTC production accounted for almost 9 percent of the total and green tea less than one percent. The orthodox production for 2022 was 90 percent and contributed largely towards the high prices that prevailed throughout 2022 and more importantly, resulted in tea smallholders earning over Rs.250 per kilo for their green leaf in the second half of the year, with some growers enjoying even more.
The higher earnings for green leaf supplies benefited the growers, in the backdrop of high cost of inputs.