Golam Mostafa Jibon : Despite the corona pandemic, country’s tea producers and exporters have now started to see the ray of hope as its export has increased nowadays compared to the previous period with the rising of demand and production.
Sources said, the demand for tea is increasing day by day in the country. As a result, despite the increase in production, tea exports were not as expected. The year before the onset of the corona virus, tea exports fell down to 6 lakh kg. As a result of keeping production active during the Corona pandemic and integrated planning, exports in 2020 has increased by 1.5 lakh kg in one leap compared to the previous year. Last year, exporters earned about Tk 35 crore by exporting a total of 21.70 lakh kg of tea to 19 countries.
Industry insiders said, the government has set a target of exporting 1 crore kg of tea in 2025. To that end, tea garden owners, farmers and exporters have come up with a plan. The Commerce Ministry has set a target of earning at Tk 40 crore from tea exports in the current financial year.
Not only Moulvibazar, Sylhet, Sreemangal and Habiganj are famous areas for tea production, now many people in the northern region of the country are also inclined to tea cultivation. At present, there are 167 registered tea gardens and tea estates in Bangladesh, according to the Tea Board.
Apart from planning to cultivate tea in favorable soils across the country, the target for tea production in the country by 2025 has been set at 140 million kg. Besides, the export target has been set at 1 crore kg.
Major General Ashraful Islam, Chairman of the Bangladesh Tea Board, said, “We have provided all kinds of supports to increase tea production during the corona epidemic. No tea factory was closed during the corona period due to the joint initiative of the Ministry of Commerce and the Tea Board. Tea production has increased this time due to favorable weather and cooperation of tea owners. Both the export and production of tea produced in the country have increased as it has played a vital role as a roadmap for the development of tea for the last three to four years. Everyone was cooperating here.
“Our first plan is to become self-sufficient in the domestic market. We are now looking at quality. If the quality is good, the export will increase. We have a target to export 10 million (one crore kg) of tea by 2025. The highest income from tea exports in the last two decades was in 2008. In that year, the exporters earned Tk 97 crore by exporting 84 lakh kg of tea,” he added.
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