BD produces 86.39m kgs of made-tea
RANGPUR, Jan 22: A total of 86.39 million kgs of made-tea was produced from 167 tea gardens and small scale tea gardens across Bangladesh in 2020 with record output in five sub-Himalayan northern districts.
"The produced 86.39 million kgs of made-tea is higher by 20.45 million kgs against the fixed production target of 75.94 million kgs for 2020," said a press release signed by Deputy Director (Planning) of Bangladesh Tea Board (BTB) Munir Ahmed.
Due to adverse climatic conditions, the achieved made-tea production in 2020 fell short by about 10 percent against the production of 96.07 million kgs in 2019 across the country.
Among the total production achieved in 2020, a record quantity of 10.30 million kgs of made-tea was added to the national production from tea gardens in plain lands of five northern districts alone.
The produced made-tea in five northern districts in 2020 is higher by 0.70 million kgs than the produced quantity of 9.60 million kgs in 2019.
"Chairman of Bangladesh Tea Board (BTB) Major General Md. Jahirul Islam said the activities in all tea gardens of the country remained normal under the direction of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina even during the COVID-19 pandemic situation," the release said.
Tea farming remained normal for maintaining tea auction centers in compliance with health directives, timely distribution of fertilisers, ensuring coveted protocols in tea gardens and increasing wages of tea workers, ensuring rations and health services.
"On-farm practical training of farmers through Camellia Open Sky School on tea cultivation and providing modern technologies helped to achieve a record output from tea gardens and small tea gardens on plain lands in the northern districts," he added.
Talking to BSS, Senior Scientific Officer at Bangladesh Tea Research Institute Dr. Mohammad Shameem Al Mamun said tea farming began in the north as per direction given by the then Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during her visit to Panchagarh in 1996.
Accordingly, a BTB team conducted feasibility study in Panchagarh and Thakurgaon in 1999 and found 16,000 hectares of land suitable for commercial basis tea cultivation.
"Tentulia Tea Company Limited first started farming tea in Tentulia of Panchagarh in 2000 followed by other companies and farmers," said Shameem, also Project Director of the Northern Bangladesh Project of BTB at its Regional Office in Panchagarh.
BTB launched the project in 2015 at Taka 4.97 crore to bring more 500 hectares of land within 2020 for faster expansion of tea cultivation in the north.
"Owners of 10 registered and 17 unregistered gardens and 7,310 small holders cultivated tea on 10,171 acres of plain lands in Panchagarh, Thakurgaon, Dinajpur, Nilphamari and Lalmonirhat districts producing over 5.12 crore kgs of green tea leaves in 2020.
The 18 operating tea processing companies in Panchagarh and Thakurgaon processed the green tea leaves and produced 10.30 million kgs of 'made-tea' in 2020. -BSS