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Bangladesh - November 21, 2021

Tea industry turns around

Bangladesh Tea Board set the target of tea production at 7,77,80,000 Kg for 2021, but 7,93,30,000 Kg of tea has already been produced by October last

Golam Mostafa Jibon: Though, the country’s tea industry had been suffering from manifold problems and the production of tea was adversely hampered due to unfavorable weather like drought, heavy rains and even Corona pandemic for the last few years, it has finally seen the ray of hope by producing record amount of tea this year.
Sources said, the target of tea production fixed by the Bangladesh Tea Board for this year has already exceeded about two months ago. Bangladesh Tea Board set the target of tea production at 7,77,80,000 Kg for 2021. But, at least 7,93,30,000 Kg of tea has already been produced from around 167 small and large shape of tea gardens in the country by October last, while at least 1,43,87,000 Kg of tea was produced in August last.
Besides, around 1,14,86,000 Kg of tea was produced by October in 2020 and 1,34,07,000 Kg by October in 2019.
On the other hand, the government has set a target of tea exporting at around 1 crore kg by 2025. Besides, the Commerce Ministry has set a target of earning at Tk 40 crore from tea exports in the current financial year.
Industry sources said, the tea production has been boosted due to relentless efforts of the owners and workers, recent favorable weather, financial supports of the government and continuous monitoring by the Commerce Ministry and the concerned Tea Board.
According to the latest report published by the London-based International Tea Committee, China is the top producer of tea. India is in the second position, while Bangladesh ranks ninth in this list.
According to the history of the beginning, the age of tea industry in Bangladesh is 178 years. In this long time, the map of the country has changed twice. The progress of this industry did not stop even after many obstructions. The achievement of this industry is not less than the immense potential. The first tea garden in the country was started in 1828. The land was taken at Kodala in Chattogram, also a part of the undivided India, to establish a tea garden. The first tea was planted experimentally in 1840 on the land, where now located the Chattogram Club. The first commercial cultivation of tea was started on Malnichhara tea garden, also the outskirts of Sylhet city, in 1958.
Since then, tea has gradually established itself as an agro-based labor-intensive industry in the country. Tea began to play an important role in the national economy by creating employment, increasing export earnings, producing alternative products and reducing rural poverty.
Not only Sylhet, Moulvibazar, 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.
Experts said, the tea industry in Bangladesh has immense potential. If this industry is properly supervised, the national economy of the country will move forward faster. At present, the amount of tea produced in the country is being exported abroad after meeting the local demand. In this way, the wheel of country’s economy is moving. Due to this industry, the unemployment problem of the country is being alleviated to some extent. The country’s tea industry is going to set the highest record in tea production. At the end of this season, the idea of creating the highest ever record in tea production is becoming more and more real. If this trend of tea production is correct till the end of the current financial year, it will be the record of highest tea production in Bangladesh. Last year the country witnessed a bumper production of tea, which is more than the target. At present, Bangladesh is the eighth largest exporter of tea. Its contribution to the GDP is 0.81 percent.
Tea is an important cash crop of Bangladesh so there is no doubt about it. As a result of population growth, social development, continuous urbanization of the country and its people, the domestic demand for tea is increasing. Tea is now being exported to many countries including Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, India, Poland, Russia, Iran, United Kingdom, Afghanistan, United States, Belgium, France, Kuwait, Oman, Sudan and Switzerland from Bangladesh. The demand for tea in the world has doubled in the last ten years.
The history and tradition of the tea industry is very old. But there is a big difference between the past and the present. Today the tea industry has been able to make a name for itself as one of the developing industries of the independent country. The lucrative and traditional tea industry has now reached new horizons of potential. This bright prospect is being created around the demand of tea in the domestic and export market.
The head office of the Tea Research Institute in Bangladesh known as the state of tea is located at Srimangal. It was established in 1956 with the aim of continuing to innovate and apply advanced technology through research. From the very beginning, the Institute has been operating as a part of the Bangladesh Tea Board under the Ministry of Commerce.

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