Pakistan Gets Major Breakthrough
in Tea Development
Islamabad July 19,2002.
“Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) has succeeded in
developing a high quality tea in the country at Shinkiari, Mansehra. The
project that was initiated two years back with the involvement of
private sector has shown positive signs so far. The Chinese survey team
has also confirmed the high quality and the potential available in the
mountainous areas of Pakistan”.
This was told by PARC Chairman Badaruddin
Soomro while giving presentation to the officials of the ministry of
food, agriculture and livestock (MINFAL) on the occasion of annual
meeting on Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP). Federal Minister
for MINFAL Mr. Khair Mohamed Junejo presided over the session in which
all concerned departments of the ministry participated.
Mr. Junejo applauded the efforts of PARC for showing tremendous results
in tea development and production despite financial constraints. He said
that the government is committed to enhance agricultural products as
well their production. “Pakistan has been spending huge amounts of
foreign exchange on the import of Tea from other countries. With the
development of indigenous tea in Pakistan, national exchequer will
receive a good relief”, he maintained.
He said that the ministry has kicked off Crop Maximization Project in
order to attain self-sufficiency in food and related items. He said that
his team is working hard to achieve a uniform rate of production and
quality through out the country. It is hopeful to narrow the gap between
an average product and the best quality product so that all producers
have equal opportunities available in the market to sell their produce.
Chairman PARC however said that the results could have been much better
and sophisticated had the financial resources been provided adequately.
He presented the success story before the participants and assessed the
future prospects of the project. He found that the soil of Pakistan has
every reason to produce good quality tea in the country and the climatic
conditions are favourable in the mountainous areas.
He told that Tea Research and Development Programme (TRDP) was commenced
in July 1998 with a total cost of Rs. 60.304 million. The objectives of
the project included surveying and modifying specific plantation sites
and pioneer farmers. It was aimed at raising 11.00 million nursery
plants at National Tea Research Institute (NTRI), Shinkiari, Mansehra
for transplantation on 2200 acres of farmers’ fields spread over the
project life and demonstrate/popularize and impart training on technique
of tea plantation among the tea growers in district Mansehra and Swat.
The TRDP has contributed in raising 2.2 million tea cuttings from
selected tea bushes and planted in soil filled polyethylene sleeves in
tea nursery. Besides tea cutting, 1.4 million tea seeds had also been
sown in the nursery. More than 3000 kg tea seed has collected from NTRI
tea garden that has been established for tea plantation on 12 acres of
farmer’s field in central Swat and 20 acres in Battagram District. More
than 31.527 tons of raw material plucked from NTRI and farmers fields
has so far been processed into 7.006 ton of green tea.
He said that receiving this huge success of TRDP for green tea, another
project Establishment of Black Tea Processing Plant has initiated with
Rs. 39.986 million total cost in July 1999 to establish black tea
processing facility of moderate capacity (500-1000 kg/day) at National
Tea Research Institute (NTRI), Shinkiari.
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