Agri Business

Tea Board steps to boost output, exports of Kangra tea

Santanu Sanyal Kolkata | Updated on November 17, 2017

The Tea Board has finalised a multi-pronged strategy to boost exports and production of tea of Kangra Valley in Himachal Pradesh.

The first step, according to the Tea Board Chairman, Mr M.G.V.K. Bhanu, will be to showcase the Kangra tea in various international fairs.

“We will promote Kangra tea in the fairs to be held shortly in Kazakhstan, Taiwan and the US and in all such fairs in future”, Mr Bhanu told Business Line here recently.

Kangra tea is an orthodox variety, close to Darjeeling tea and it has also secured the GI status. Currently, nearly 96 per cent of the holdings have an average size of less than an acre and the total production of Kangra tea is about 7-8 lakh kg annually. The bulk of the production is offered at Kolkata auction. As a result, its own identity is virtually lost.

“Our second priority, therefore, is to achieve the critical mass in production”, the Tea Board Chairman said. “The plan is to reach as soon as possible the production level of 10 million kg annually”.

One way to boost production will be to increase acreage. First, consolidation of existing small holdings to build large estates yielding the scale. Second, acquisition of more lands. Third, a combination of both consolidation and acquisition.

The Tea Board “has urged the Himachal Pradesh Government to undertake a detailed baseline survey to identify the areas presently under tea, abandoned and the areas to be available for new plantation,” the Chairman said. “We've also sanctioned Rs 32 lakh to the state's agriculture university for undertaking R&D for developing organic tea cultivation practices”.

On Tuesday, the Union Commerce Minister, Mr Anand Sharma, will lay the foundation-stone for the new and upgraded office of Tea Board at Palampur.

>santanu@thehindu.co.in

Published on April 08, 2012

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