With an aim to expand the country’s tea sector, the government has drawn up ‘A Road-map to Success: Bangladesh Tea Industry’ to achieve tea production target by 2025 amid its overall development.
The objectives are to increase annual tea production to 100 million kgs by 2025, with an expectation of additional 34 million kgs from the present production by expanding tea cultivation to 10,000 hectares of land.
Now, the average tea production per hectare is around 1,320 kgs which will be increased to 1,520 kgs by 2025.
Under various initiatives to develop the country’s tea sector, about 1,838 new machineries will be procured for tea processing industries. Besides 4,500 manually-operated deep tube wells will be installed in tea gardens.
The government has already established a fund of Tk 10 million for welfare of tea garden workers.
Per capita local tea consumption is now around 0.4 kg. At present, local demand for tea is increasing by 3.23 per cent against two percent annually. The demand for tea for local consumption is between 75 million kgs and 83 million kgs.
Country’s a total of 166 tea gardens has an average combined production capacity of around 65 million kgs annually. The tea sector has employed around 95,734 people directly and about 409,628 people are indirectly dependent on the sector.
In 2015, the country had set a target to produce 64 million kgs of tea. The production surpassed the target which was 67.38 million kgs. Until October 2016, the country produced 71.58 million kgs of tea against the target of 65 million kgs.
According to the Bangladesh Tea Board, the country exported 0.49 million kgs in 2015. Until October 2016 around 6.9 million kgs of tea were also imported.
Both of the local consumption and production of tea are simultaneously increasing gradually. If this current phase goes on without a big investment to develop, then country’s tea sector might become a neat tea-importing country.