Agartala: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has assured the Tripura government to start importing tea from the state soon.
This was announced by state chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb while speaking in an event organised to celebrate the 111th birth anniversary of Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur in Agartala on Monday evening.
“During a telephonic conversation with the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina, she assured me that her government will buy tea from Tripura, and accordingly, she would direct the officials concerned to import tea from our state,” the chief minister said.
He also said Bangladesh has been importing huge quantity of tea from Sri Lanka.
“No one could imagine earlier that Tripura Tea can be sold at Rs 10,000 per kg in the market. Earlier, the Tripura Tea Development Corporation (TTDC) has sold tea at Rs 144 per kg. Bangladesh is importing tea from Sri Lanka but, now, we are also ready to sell our quality tea and I have informed Prime Minister of Bangladesh that Tripura is ready to export quality tea with a price of Rs 177 per kg,” Deb said.
Deb has also criticised the earlier government for not taking any step to develop the tea of Tripura.
“After the formation of the BJP-IPFT government, we have laid enough stress to develop tea of Tripura and have done the marketing in a proper way, which was never ever done before. No one has earlier thought to produce white tea here. But now the tea growers are producing white tea and selling it at Rs 10,000 per kg. If Assam can sell their tea with a good price, why can’t Tripura sell? We are now also producing quality tea,” chief minister Deb said.
Earlier on January 20, the state government unveiled an official logo for the state’s tea and released a tea brand —Tripureswari Tea — to popularise the beverage and promote tourism potential.
On July last this year, Tripureswari Tea, which grown in Tripura, has fetched Rs 177 per kg at an auction centre in Kolkata.
Tripura Tea Development Corporation (TTDC) chairman Santosh Saha said, “In 1980, the tea started selling at Rs 140 to Rs 145 per kg and till date, the price was same in the auctions. But this time, it has brought a good price. We have sold it at Rs 177 a kg for the very first time. If the erstwhile government had taken any initiative to develop the production of tea here, then the scenario would have been different today.”