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Drink more green tea, say growers

- Workshop in Golaghat

Guwahati, Feb. 21: The tea industry has called for creating more awareness and efforts to make green tea more popular.

This was the general opinion of the tea industry at a workshop on green tea organised by Northeastern Tea Association (Neta) today at Golaghat in association with Parcon (India) Private Limited and supported by the Tea Board of India.

India produced nearly 1,200 million kg tea last year, out of which Assam produced about 618 million kg.

The estimated production of green tea in the country last year was 11 million kg only — Bengal contributed 8 million kg, Assam 2 million kg and the remaining 1 million by south India.

Industry officials said tho-ugh green tea production is quite low, its demand in the domestic market is growing at 17 per cent per annum as against only 3 per cent for black tea.

“There should be more awareness for making green tea more popular and effective steps should be taken in that direction. More importantly, the product mix should be good,” Neta chairman Bidyananda Barkakoty told The Telegraph.

In India, demand for green tea is rapidly increasing whereas in China, demand for black tea is on the rise.

Parcon chairman Rajiv Puri, a leading tea brokerage firm, presented an overview of the green tea market. The workshop dwelt on how to manufacture green tea, its market prospects in India and machinery available in the market to manufacture it. Local entrepreneurs shared their experiences of producing hand-made green tea, organic tea and tea processing machinery.

Green tea is made solely from the leaves of Camellia sinensis and undergoes minimal oxidation during processing.

Barkakoty said the workshop on green tea, held for the first time, was attended by more than 100 tea planters from different parts of Assam and a few planters from Nagaland and Arunachal too.

Small tea growers also participated in good numbers.

“It is very encouraging to find a good representation from the tea industry,” he said.

Another official said the younger generation is going for green tea considering its health benefits.

Puri presented an overview of the green tea market. Manivel Lakshmanan and P.K. Mahanta, retired scientists of the Tea Research Association, gave a scientific overview of green tea.