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Grow more diversified, aromatic tea: PM Sheikh Hasina urges the industry

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday asked the tea growers and traders to opt for more diversified and aromatic tea considering the growing global demand for such types of drink.

“I think we need to pay attention to make diversified and aromatic tea as the demand for it is much higher now in foreign countries,” she said, reports UNB.

The premier made this remark while addressing a programme arranged in the city’s Osmani Memorial Auditorium on the occasion of 4th National Tea Day and National Tea Award-2024.

She said now the taste of the people has changed and so there is not only tea from tea leaves, but also different types and flavours of tea like herbal and spicy tea have already been made available in the market.

“Instead of just selling tea leaves in bulk, we need to add value to them and export them. If so, we (Bangladesh) can earn foreign currency on the one hand and the traders will make a good profit on the other hand. I want it,” said Hasina.

She said now tea is made with different things like basil leaf, ginger, lemon, bay leaf, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon.

The prime minister asked the tea garden owners and tea traders to package such types of tea and add value to it for getting more profit.

“If you add value to tea, not just selling tea leaves in bulk, you will get more price, good money and earnings. Its demand is constantly increasing throughout the world,” she added.

She stressed the need for more research on making tea from jute leaves, saying now tea is produced from jute leaves on a small scale. Jute tea might be good for controlling diabetes, she added.

The prime minister urged the tea garden owners and businesspeople to be more sincere regarding the wellbeing of tea workers if they want more production.

“If you are sincere to the workers, you can make them more productive,” she said, adding that the owners should pay attention to the workers’ healthcare and education of their children.

She said the government will do its part, mentioning that she has an emotional attachment with the tea industry as her Father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was the first Bengali Chairman of the tea board and awarded the tea workers citizenship.

She thanked the tea workers as they always vote for Awami League.

When the Awami League government came to power in 1996, it took initiatives to expand the tea cultivation in the North Bengal, she said, adding that as a result, tea cultivation has gone to Panchagarh, Thakurgaon, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Dinajpur and Rangpur districts.

This time, the tea production has increased to 102.92 million kg, said the prime minister.

The National Tea Award was awarded for the second time in eight categories in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the tea industry.

The premier handed over the National Tea Award-2024 to the recipients from tea growers, exporters and workers as well as inaugurated the Tea Fair-2024.

State Minister for Commerce Ahasanul Islam Titu presided over the event, while Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce Ministry Tipu Munshi, Commerce Secretary Selim Uddin, Chairman of Bangladeshi Cha Sangsad (Association of tea garden owners) Kamran T Rahman, Chairman of Tea Traders Association of Bangladesh Shah Moinuddin Hasan and Chairman of Bangladesh Tea Board Major General Ashraful Islam spoke on the occasion.

In the event, an audio-visual documentary was screened focusing on the tea industry of Bangladesh.