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Refused tea to produce organic fertiliser: Seized Customs stocks to state institutions

By Asiri Fernando

Sri Lanka Customs is exploring the possibility of repurposing some of the confiscated stocks of refused tea by supplying it to state institutions that are producing organic fertiliser, instead of destroying the stock, The Sunday Morning learnt.

The move was also seen as a way to release a number of containers the stocks are in back into circulation.

Speaking to The Sunday Morning, a senior Customs official said they were in discussions with the Ministry of Agriculture and had identified five state institutions that were interested in using refused tea in the process of manufacturing organic fertiliser.

“Earlier, the practice was to destroy the stocks. However, we are looking at handing them over to state institutions free of charge to be utilised in the manufacture of organic fertiliser, which will help the farming communities,” the official said.

However, the process of releasing the stocks and transporting it securely to the relevant state institutions will take time, The Sunday Morning learnt.

Customs will require several weeks to check the status of legal action on the stocks, co-ordinate with receiving institutions, and organise transportation for the refused tea, the official said.

Attempts to reach Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage for his views on the move failed.