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Rezaul Haque, Sylhet
The tea prices have been increasing on the back of declining production. The price of black tea has been increasing in dramatic way from last few years.
In last year, around 3 lakh green leafs were produced in Sylhet region, where 1.5 lakh green leafs were produced this year.
Earlier, Bangladesh produced huge amount of tea, where the country has now turned as a tea importer for various reasons.
Besides the production problem, domestic consumption is increasing and it is the another reason for shot up the tea prices.
In last year, per Kg of black tea was sold at Tk 215 to 220 in auction market, where now it is being sold at Tk 260 to 290.
Meanwhile, the tea authorities have taken a plan to produce the black tea in Sylhet division. According to their plan, they have already completed all preparation in Sremangal upazila and production will be start from September to October this year, sources said.
In the past three years, Bangladesh imported 1.4 crore kilograms of tea from abroad.
Sources said that there are 1.16 lakh hectares of tea garden areas, but only 47 percent are utilized for growing. Nearly 62,000 hectares of tea land are lying vacant.
Climate change hit the country’s tea production in the Sylhet region where excessive rainfall, low temperature and insufficient sunlight and insects are the main obstacles for smooth production.
However, tea production by the state-owned tea estates has declined sharply due to corruption, mismanagement and fund constraints, sources said.
According to Bangladesh Tea Research Institute, there are 163 different-sized tea gardens in the country. Of them, 134 tea gardens are located in Sylhet division, where 92 in Moulvibazar, 22 in Habiganj and 20 in Sylhet Sadar upazila.