Aroma of Kangra tea is likely to flourish in the picturesque Kangra valley once again as Union Commerce Minister Mr. Anand Sharma announced a multi-pronged project to boost its production and exports, which have dwindled due to lack of support system by the state. Mr. Sharma said that the Central and the State government will jointly work to revive the Kangra tea industry by rejuvenating and expanding tea gardens.
He was here to lay the foundation stone of Regional Office of the Tea Board of India. He said a Kangra tea collection centre would be opened here to procure tea directly from the growers. Mr. Sharma also said “at present, less than 9,00,000 kg of tea is being produced every year.We are aiming to take its annual production up to 20 lakh kg”.
Kangra tea is an orthodox variety, close to Darjeeling tea, and it have been registered under the Geographical Indications of Goods Act, 1999. The minister said to get international buyers for Kangra tea, a separate e-auction window will be set up.The auctioning of tea in India is being supervised by the Tea Board of India.
Mr. Sharma also directed the board official to prepare a proposal plan within two weeks on mechanisation of the tea industry as the tea gardens in the state are facing closure due to high inputs, including labour.He asked the state government to help growers reviving tea estates by rejuvenating the old tea estates and identify abandoned estates.
Mr.Sharma said the government of India had set up special purpose ‘tea fund’ to revive tea estates in the country.This fund will continue in the 12th five year plan too. So far 49 of the 53 identified tea gardens have been rejuvenated.He also announced to setting up of a tea museum in the Institute of Himalayan Bio-resource Technology.