The prospects of exporting tea from Tripura to neighbouring Bangladesh has brightened with Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb having taken up the issue with Union Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu, a top official said.
The chief minister has already spoken to the Union minister on the governments plan to export tea through a tea auction centre at Srimangal in Bangladesh, which is only 5 km from Kailashahar in Unakoti district of Tripura, Chairman of Tripura Tea Development Corporation Ltd (TTDC) Santosh Saha said on Tuesday.
The Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has also taken up the matter with Bangladesh government, he said.
"I was told that after the Bangladesh general election, the issue of exporting Tripuras tea to the neighbouring country will take shape through discussion. And we are hopeful that something positive will come out," Saha said.
The TTDC chairman said that Bangladesh imports huge quantity of tea from foreign nations, except India.
He said the new BJP-IPFT government in Tripura was serious to herald good days for the tea industry by encouraging green tea cultivation.ALSO READ: Tightening norms on pesticides hurts Indian tea exports to USA
Currently the state produces 90 lakh kg of tea, mainly of the CTC variety.
"Green tea production has already begun in some tea estates of the state.
We want to expand it in more tea gardens but it is a time consuming process. But, it will be done in phases", he said.
To a query on branding of tea produced in the state, Saha said logo for Tripura is under consideration of the Tea Board of India (TBI) and it will be cleared within the next couple of days.
The TTDC chairman admitted that absence of a logo of Tripura tea is a serious problem for the tea growers to market their products with a reasonable price.
"It is very tough to transport finished tea to Siliguri or Kolkata tea auction markets. Once a logo is allotted, this problem will be solved," he said.
The TTDC, he said, plans to open a tea corner in the capital town next month for display and sale of tea produced in the state.