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Bangladesh to buy Tripura tea: Biplab Kumar Deb

He also said Bangladesh has been importing tea from Sri Lanka so far

By Tanmoy Chakraborty in Agartala
  • Published 21.08.19, 2:27 AM
  • Updated 21.08.19, 2:27 AM
  • a min read
  •  
A tea garden in Tripura Telegraph picture

Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Monday claimed Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had assured him the neighbouring country would buy tea from the state.

While inaugurating an event, Deb said, “Following a message from a Calcuta-based tea entrepreneur, I called Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina but I couldn’t talk. Later, she rang me back and we discussed import and export of tea. She assured me that they would buy tea from Tripura and she will direct her officials to import tea from our state.”

He also said Bangladesh has been importing tea from Sri Lanka so far.

“No one could imagine that Tripura tea can be sold at Rs 10,000 per kg in the market. Earlier, Tripura Tea Development Corporation (TTDC) had sold tea at Rs 144 per kg but now they have fetched Rs 177 per kg last month in an auction at Calcutta. Bangladesh is importing tea from Sri Lanka but now we are also ready to sell our quality tea to them,” Deb said.

He also criticised the earlier government for not taking any steps to develop Tripura tea.

“After the BJP-IPFT government was formed, we laid stress on developing the tea industry and carried out marketing in a proper way which was never done before. Nobody had earlier thought about producing white tea here but now the growers producing specialised tea and selling them for Rs 10,000 per kg. If Assam can sell its tea at good prices why can’t Tripura do so? We are also producing quality tea,” he said.

On January 20, the state government had unveiled an official logo for the state’s tea and released the Tripureswari Tea brand to popularise the beverage.

Corporation chairman Santosh Saha said on Monday, “In 1980, tea was first sold at Rs 140 to Rs 145 per kg and till date, the price was similar in the auctions. However, this time we have sold it for Rs 177 per kg. If the erstwhile government had taken any initiative to develop tea production, the scenario would have been different today.”

Tripura grows nearly 90 lakh kg green tea annually. Most of it is sent to auction centres in Calcutta and Guwahati.

The corporation is planning to start an auction centre in Agartala to sell tea produced in the state here.