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Tripura CM announces ongoing plans to facilitate tea exports to Bangladesh

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TBS report

July 11, 2022, 10:35 a.m.

Last modification: July 11, 2022, 10:44 a.m.

Dr Manik Saha (centre) with Biplab Kumar Deb after the former was appointed head of house. (PhotoExpress)

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Dr Manik Saha (centre) with Biplab Kumar Deb after the former was appointed head of house. (PhotoExpress)

Tripura Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha said on Sunday his government plans to develop the tea industry in the state by establishing an auction center in Agartala and facilitating exports to neighboring Bangladesh.

“We will work on setting up an auction center and promoting exports to Bangladesh within a specified period. We have already listed the Department of Industries and Commerce as the nodal agency for this purpose,” said Saha.

After inaugurating the state’s first gas-fired tea processing centers in the Durgabari tea plantation in western Tripura, Manik Saha said his government was trying to revive the ailing tea gardens and modernizing them through the introduction of newer technologies, reported The Indian Express.

Gas treatment plants help reduce pollution and increase production efficiency.

The Chief Minister also said that the soil of Tripura is conducive for tea production. Speaking of tea garden workers, the Chief Minister said his government was working on the socio-economic development of tea garden workers.

“They have been used as a vote bank all this time. We are now trying to develop their standard of living. Our government is working to provide better housing, sanitation, clean water, electricity, connectivity facilities and social security pension to tea garden workers…” the CM said.

Citing a recent decision to provide two residential plots for each of the state’s 7,200 tea garden worker families, Saha said his government practiced “Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas”.

The tea industry in Tripura is over 100 years old with the Hiracherra tea estate in North Tripura district dating back to 1916. At present, the north eastern state has 14,000 tea workers and 2,800 small tea producers.

It is the fifth largest tea producer in India with 9-10 lakh kg of tea produced annually (about 10% of the country’s production) from 12,990 hectares. It has 54 tea plantations including 12 cooperative plantations and 3 public plantations. The state has 22 tea factories including 15 private and five cooperatives.

Most tea estates produced orthodox tea until 2000, but switched to CTC in the new millennium. With a little incentive from the Tea Board of India and marketing assistance from the government, many of these gardens are once again embracing orthodox tea production.