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Floods in Sri Lanka left tea farmers struggling

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Staff Writer | June 27, 2017
Floods in Sri Lanka
Asia   Tea industry earns $1.3 billion a year

Tea farmers in Sri Lanka are struggling to make ends meet after their land was destroyed by heavy floods and mudslides last month.

The floods, described by authorities as the worst to hit the country in more than a decade, killed more than 200 people and displaced more than 600,000 people from their homes.

For many of the 400,000 small farmers who grow more than 70 percent of the country's tea, the floods covered their tea bushes by up to five metres with mud and sludge, leading to the rotting of some roots.

Sri Lanka's tea industry, which earns $1.3 billion a year, has also seen a decrease in supply after the floods.

Mudslides have become common during the monsoon season in Sri Lanka as land has been heavily deforested to grow export crops such as tea and rubber.

Last year, monsoon rains caused flooding and landslides that killed more than 100 people.

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