Tea farmers in Panchagarh optimistic about good yields and prices this season Dhaka Tribune
Price of raw tea leaves set at Tk24.50 per kg
Tea farmers and Bangladesh Tea Board (BTB) officials are optimistic about exceeding the annual yield target of 1 crore kilogram during the upcoming tea producing season.
Currently tea is produced in 5,595 hectares of land in the district. Last season, 81 lakh kg of tea was produced.
This has prompted the authorities concerned to set the price of raw tea leaves at Tk24.50 this year.
It was decided in a meeting at the deputy commissioner’s office on January 9. A new price will again be set three months later at the tea auction market in Chittagong.
According to the district BTB office, tea production began in Panchagarh in 2000, with its yield volume increasing every year.
There are eight registered large tea estates in the district, and 18 unregistered.
662 small tea gardens are registered, while 3,500 smaller gardens remain unregistered.
12 factories are operating to process the tea leaves, while 20 more are currently under construction.
Md Shameem Al Mamun, project director of BTB’s Northern Bangladesh Project, said that in 2017, 54.46 lakh kg of tea was produced in the district, while the number was 81 lakh kg last year.
“We distribute tea seedlings to registered farmers at a minimal price, also advising them on how to maintain tea gardens.” He also said: “as selling tea leaves is profitable, many producers are switching to tea cultivation.”
Shameem added that in association with the government’s Access to Information (a2i) initiative, BTB has prepared a mobile application titled “Duti Pata Ekti Kunri” for relevant producers and stakeholders, as well as tea lovers, offering information on tea cultivation.
At the meeting on January 9, Sabina Yasmin, Panchagarh deputy commissioner, Ehtesham Reza, additional district magistrate, Amirul Haque Khokon, president of Bangladesh Small Tea Garden Owners’ Association, and others, were present.