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A bumper year for tea producers

Published : Saturday, 21 December, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 372

A bumper year for tea producers

A bumper year for tea producers

It is encouraging to note that tea growers in Panchagarh district are expecting the highest-ever tea production standing at a colossal 1 crore kilograms (10,000 tonnes) this year against last year's 81 lakh kg. Thanks to favourable weather conditions. Alongside the very well-known tea kingdom of Sylhet, tea planters in Panchagarh are showing growing interest in its cultivation as the district has come in the limelight with its gradual increased tea output.  

Tea is an important cash crop of our country. The industry accounts for one per cent of national GDP. The rise of the Bangladeshi middle class has increasingly driven the industry to focus on a lucrative domestic market. The sector is today dominated by Bangladeshi conglomerates. The country has over 56,846 hectares of land under tea cultivation, up from 28,734 hectares in 1947. In the tea gardens of Thakurgaon and Panchagarh districts, the planters have employed both male and female labourers at wages ranging from Tk 170 to Tk 200 a day.





The steady increase in tea cultivation and processing boomed in 2012, back then Bangladesh recorded its highest production of tea, at 63.85 million kilograms. If the production increases further in the two districts, the growers hope they would be able to export tea after meeting the local demand. Apart from Sylhet, tea cultivation started in Panchagarh district in 2000 and farmers are currently growing tea on 5,595 acres of land. The soil, climate, temperature, rainfall and other factors of the district are congenial for tea cultivation. Besides, the border belt of Panchagarh is suitable for tea cultivation as the soil of the area is loamy while quick and easy draining out of rain water. What is encouraging is that the small and marginal farmers of Panchagarh have also started cultivating tea in the last decade.

Tea production should be increased further for meeting the requirements and for exporting as well. The persons involved in tea cultivation should be provided financial incentives. Bank loans on easy terms and conditions can give impetus in this regard. The party in power has significantly contributed in the improvement of various sectors in the country. Now the predicaments engulfing the tea industry should be identified and solved. The Agriculture Ministry and the Department of Agricultural Extension can play due roles in this regard.   



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