The government has undertaken three projects involving Tk194.38 million to increase tea production.
The step is expected to help the country earn more foreign exchange after fulfilling the local demand, reports UNB.
The projects are: Extension of smallholding tea cultivation in northern Bangladesh, eradication of rural poverty by expanding smallholding tea cultivation in Lalmonirhat and extension of smallholding tea cultivation in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.
According to an official document, the extension of smallholding tea cultivation in northern Bangladesh will be implemented in greater Panchagar, Thakurgaon, Lalmonirhat, Dinajpur and Nilphamari districts involving Tk49.76 million. Some 500 hectares of land in the five districts will be brought under the project.
The commerce ministry gave the approval to the project in November 10, 2015, while the physical development of this project is 44.47 per cent and financial advancement is 36 per cent so far.
One hundred hectares of land in Lalmonirhat will be brought under the extension of smallholding tea cultivation project with Tk44.68 million, the document reveals.
The commerce ministry approved the project on November 10, 2015, while its physical development has been 30.91 per cent and the financial advancement 52.68 per cent so far.
The extension of smallholding tea cultivation in the CHT project got the approval from the commerce ministry on June 19 last year.
The implementation of this project will cost Tk 99.93 million.
The physical advancement of this project has so far been 63.58 per cent, while the financial advancement 61.03 per cent, the official document shows.
According to the data available from Bangladesh Tea Board, the country produces 85.05 million kgs tea each year, while the local demand is 81.64 million kgs. Last year, Bangladesh exported 0.60 million kg of tea.
In 2007, Bangladesh produced 58.19 million kgs of tea with 1,090 kgs a hectare, while the production increased to 85.05 million kgs in 2016 with 1,587 kgs a hectare.
Bangladesh imported 7.70 million kgs of tea in 2016, while the quantity was 4.13 in 2011. The country exported 10.56 million kgs in 2007, but exports sharply dropped 0.47 million kgs in 2016.
Currently, there are 162 tea gardens in the country, which use 59,018 hectares of land. The cultivable land for tea garden is now 64,886.25 hectares. The future cultivable land has been measured to be 5,868.25 hectares.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Tea Board through its research wing invented BT-19 and BT-20 varieties of clone tea and the production capacity of these two varieties is 4,000 kgs a hectare.
The Tea Board has prepared a mobile application titled 'Duti pata ekti kunri' for the people and tea lovers. The app will be opened for all soon with tea related information.
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