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Record tea output this year

Published : 26 Sep 2019 08:29 PM | Updated : 06 Sep 2020 11:43 AM

The country’s ‘made-tea’ production has set a record this year with an expected output of 90 million kilogrammes, officials said on Wednesday. Favourable weather conditions have facilitated the tea gardens in boosting production, and especially heavy rain in March was a blessing for the record output. “Of the total, ‘made tea’ production was 82.13 million kilogrammes last year. And this year, production is expected to cross 90 million kilogrammes in December,” an official of the Bangladesh Tea Board told Bangladesh Post on Wednesday.

Besides, Bangladesh ranked top among the tea growing countries in July this year. Tea is mainly grown in Asia, Africa, South America, and around the Black and Caspian Seas. The four biggest tea-producing countries today are China, India, Sri Lanka and Kenya. When contacted Kul Prodip Chakma, Secretary, Bangladesh Tea Board on Wednesday said, the tea sector is thriving fast, the ‘made-tea’ output marked around 29 percent increase this July over that in the previous year in the country.

While the ‘made-tea’ output marked 5.76 percent increase in India, that country ranked second during the period. “If this production trend continues, we are expecting ‘made-tea’ output will cross 90 million kilogrammes. And our record production has already stunned the world tea growing countries,” Kul Prodip Chakma told Bangladesh Post.

On the other hand, while tea growing country Sri Lanka’s made-tea’ production has increased 0.95 percent Kenya’s production decreased by 8.38 percent. M R Khan, a tea trader of tea gardens of Sylhet division, and workers of different tea gardens talking to the media expressed satisfaction saying, their tea gardens experienced heavy downpour in March and also got sufficient sunlight.

“And these two natural blessings—sunlight and adequate rain made the tea gardens fertile. Besides, the government’s various initiatives encouraged both the owners and workers to work hard in order to boost production,” the traders said. The Bangladesh Tea Board Secretary said, after meeting domestic demand, the surplus ‘made tea’ would be exported, but the ‘made tea’ must be produced maintaining required quality.

“Bangladesh has a renowned global reputation, and the demand for ‘made tea’ is skyrocketing day by day. As Malaysia and Indonesia are not showing interest in cultivating tea, Bangladesh can capture the foreign market by exporting its tea. In this regard, the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has identified some problems and they are being solved,” he said. He said, Bangladesh has targeted European countries, the USA and Russia to export ‘made tea there.

“With such high demand, it is understandable that tea needs to be produced on a mass scale in the country in order to capture the foreign market,” he said. He said, tea production in Bangladesh has risen steadily over the recent years. As tea from Bangladesh gathers fame across the world, the amount of production is expected to grow even further.

According to Bangladesh Tea Board, the hot and muggy climate of Bangladesh is well-suited for tea production. Bangladesh is the 10th largest tea producer in the world. Its tea industry dates back to British rule, when the East India Company initiated the tea trade in the hills of the Sylhet region. In addition to that, tea cultivation was introduced to Greater Chattogram in 1840. Now a days, the country has 166 commercial tea estates, including many of the world's largest working plantations.

The industry accounts for 3% of global tea production, and more than 150 tea plantations, primarily in the northern and eastern parts of the country. More than 300,000 people work at these tea plantations. The tea is grown in the northern and eastern districts, the highlands, temperate climate, humidity and heavy rainfall within these districts provide a favourable ground for the production of high-quality tea.

The government plans multipurpose use of tea apart from being just as a popular healthy drink as it wants Bangladesh tea to go on across the world. Bangladesh can produce soap, shampoo, lotion from tea which are getting huge popularity in the whole world. Besides, Bangladesh Tea Research Institute has been carrying out research to raise the quality and production of tea.

The institute is conducting research on flavoured tea and innovating new ways to check pesticides. The tea output will further increase this year as its cultivation is expanding in the ‘Kartoa Valley’ comprised of Panchagarh, Thakurgaon, Dinajpur, Nilphamari and Lalmonirhat districts bringing fortune to many farmers and creating jobs for the poor.

According to Bangladesh Tea Board, BTB is implementing the ‘Expansion of Small Holding Tea Cultivation in Northern Bangladesh Project’ since 2015 at Taka 4.97 crore to expand tea farming by 500 more hectares of land within 2020 in different districts of the valley.