April 2024 \ Business & Investment \ Tea

Agartala: To promote the tea industry, a colourful rally – ‘Run for Tea-2024’ – was organised on March 12, 2024, in Tripura, the second largest producer of tea in the northeastern region after Assam, producing around nine million kg of tea annually on an area of 12,800 hectares. An official of the Tripura Tea Development Corporation (TTDC) said that the corporation jointly with the Tea Board of India organises the ‘Run for Tea’ rally every year to promote the tea industry.

MLAs, sports personalities, tea growers, industrialists, officials, politicians, important personalities and people from all walks of life took part in the rally, which was flagged off by Tripura Industry and Commerce Minister Santana Chakma, Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Tinku Roy and TTDC Chairman Samir Ranjan Ghosh.

Chakma while addressing the gathering said: “The aim behind organising such an event is to boost the sale of tea through promoting and popularising Tripura tea besides making the people aware about its health benefits”.

Tripura has a history of tea plantations dating back to 1916. According to the TTDC official, mountainous Tripura was earlier categorised as a traditional tea-growing state with about 54 tea estates, 22 tea processing factories, and more than 2800 small tea gardens, producing about nine million kg of tea every year.

He said that Tripura is the 5th largest, among the 16 tea producing states in India. Over 15,000 workers are directly involved with the Tripura tea industry, which was devastated due to militancy earlier while various chit fund organisations also affected the growth of the industry. The present state government has increased the wages of the tea garden workers from Rs 105 to Rs 176 per day.

“Facing numerous challenges including economic hardships during the past 108 years, the Tripura tea industry survived as one of the organised sectors in the state,” the official told IANS. He said that the agro-climatic conditions in Tripura are suitable for the development of tea plantations. Official documents said that the soil is generally fertile, without any major problems of toxicities or deficiencies. The average annual rainfall is about 210 cm with a fairly even distribution over the year.

Experts said that there is considerable scope to increase the productivity and area under tea plantation. To promote the tea industry, the TTDC has issued a logo of Tripura tea to obtain a better scope in the market and for the all round welfare and development of the workers a scheme – Mukhyamantri tea workers’ welfare scheme was introduced. The state government has also decided to set up a tea auction center in Tripura, the official said.