3 Tripura tea gardens turn organic

Tea growers in Tripura are now turning to organic tea plantation, keeping in mind the stress on marketing to create a brand of tea from the state.

By Debraj Deb in Agartala
  • Published 30.07.18
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A tea garden in Tripura

Agartala: Tea growers in Tripura are now turning to organic tea plantation, keeping in mind the stress on marketing to create a brand of tea from the state.

Ludhua Cooperative Tea Estate in South Tripura is one of the three tea estates of Tripura that have turned organic. The tea estate produced 1.25 lakh kg organic tea and 10,000 green tea per year.

Ludhua tea estate manager Snehashish Danda told The Telegraph that organic tea was fetching him way higher returns. One kilo of organic tea is fetching Rs 8,000 at the least compared to Rs 400 for non-organic tea, Danda told reporters.

With over 100 years' history of the tea industry, Tripura tea is now on its way to make a mark in the national and global market. The Tea Board of India is looking to come up with a logo and brand for tea from the state.

The tea industry began in the state at Hiracherra tea estate in Unakoti district way back in 1916.

Efforts were taken to turn the industry into a profit-making sector but even after 100 years, there is no export of tea from Tripura, he said.

Tea from Tripura is being sold under big brands like Goodwyn tea at Narendrapur, Mekhlipara tea gardens in West Tripura district and others.

However, after several years of stalemate, the Tripura Tea Development Corporation (TTDC) has announced the setting up of two tea auction centres in the state.

Tea Board of India deputy director Diganta Barman said small tea growers from Mizoram succeeded in bringing up Mizo Tea as a successful business model.

"We have nearly 3,000 small tea growers in Tripura. They are doing good business in West Tripura, South Tripura and Dhalai districts," Barman said.

Two small tea growers, Gopal Chakraborty and Kalyan Debarma in Mohanpur, have also got the organic tea tag.

Gopal has already got a scope certificate after fulfilling the National Programme for Organic Production Standards, which means his tea will be treated under conversion to organic tea for next three years, after which it will be branded 100 per cent organic tea.

Barman also said Tripura was perfect for the tea industry because of its fertile soil and favourable rain and other weather conditions.

"The tea industry in Tripura is better than many other states of the country. However, tea from the state was not brand positioned properly in all these years. Marketing is very important in business and we are hoping to develop the Tripura Tea logo shortly," Barman said.

Two border haats are currently operational along the India-Bangladesh international border.

The Tea Board official said tea could be included in the list of goods traded in border haats to promote trade.