National, Front Page

Tea finds the plain genial to grow

Published : 29 Jun 2021 09:47 PM | Updated : 30 Jun 2021 01:36 AM

Tea is now commercially cultivating on flat land in some parts of the country. Flatlands in Panchagarh, Thakurgaon, Dinajpur, Nilphamari, and Lalmonirhat are now widely using in tea cultivation.

Back in 2000 several companies including Tentulia Tea Company and later Kazi & Kazi Tea Estate started tea cultivation at the garden stage. After that the scope of tea cultivation gradually increased even at the small farming level.

After the commencement of tea cultivation in the flatlands of the district, tea cultivation was started in Thakurgaon and Lalmonirhat in 2007 and in Dinajpur and Nilphamari districts in 2014.

However, to enhance tea cultivation in flat land, a project titled ‘Northern Bangladesh Project’ which was taken back in 2015 is scheduled to end this month. The project concerned saying, the main aim of the project has achieved. More flat land has been bought under the tea cultivation there.

Northern Bangladesh Project Director Mohammad Shamim Al Mamun while talking to Bangladesh Post said, “This project itself is a success story. Last year tea production from flat land was around 1.03 crore which was 12 percent of the total national production. Starting from 2015 till now, we have organized 116 workshops through which we trained farmers and provide them with samples.” 

“One of the main aims of the project is bringing more lands under tea cultivation. Our target was to bring 500 acres of land. In fact, we have bought 557 acres of land under tea cultivation programme. Besides we have produced more than 10 lakh improved verities of samplings,” added Mohammad Shamim Al Mamun.

At present, there are 10 registered and 17 unregistered large tea gardens (above 25 acres) in 5 districts. Besides, there are 1,510 registered and 5,800 unregistered small-scale tea gardens (up to 25 acres).

So far, tea cultivation has been expanded to 10,170.57 acres of land. However, the Bangladesh Tea Board information showed that about 40,000 acres of land in Panchagarh is suitable for tea cultivation.

However, Shamim further said that there are 33 factories that are regularly purchasing tea leaves from the farmers. With this 7310 farmers are getting advantages while around 25000 jobs created until now.

The possibility of flatland tea cultivation is now trying to spread in other district too. As the existing Northern Bangladesh project is completing this year, the authorities concerned is going to take another project titled ‘Small Scale Tea Cultivation Expansion Project’ aiming to spread such kind of tea cultivation at Greater Mymensingh, Muktagacha, Sherpur.

According to the Tea Board, many people have been employed in different tea gardens, processing factories and small packaging factories. About half of them are women.

Based on our Panchagarh district correspondent, tea farmers informed that they used to cultivate tobacco but now they are inclined to cultivate tea. Besides the cost of tea cultivation is also low.

Farmer Shamsul Islam said, “Officially, we are getting various facilities for tea cultivation. And because of the low cost of tea cultivation, our interest is also increasing. The tea board has given us a lot of materials. They are cooperating in various ways including giving spray machines, irrigation machines, leaf-cutting machines.”

Farmers have also informed that the cost of tea cultivation is much lower than any other crops which they used to cultivate before.

Tea Board information showed, farmers have to invest Tk 1.20 lakh to Tk 1.22 lakh to tea cultivation in one acres of flat land at the beginning.