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Vol. 6 • No. 4 • Dec 2011

A STUDY ON SMALL HOLDING TEA CULTIVATION
AT PANCHAGARH OF BANGLADESH

Dr. Shamsul Islam Latifi Assistant Professor, Economics, Asian University of Bangladesh (AUB).
Md. Zahidul Islam Lecturer, Economics, Asian University of Bangladesh (AUB).

Abstract

This study is carried out to discuss and find out the future problems and prospect of Small Tea Growers, Small Holding Tea Cultivators and Tea Estates in Bangladesh. Tea is an agro-based, labor intensive, export oriented, environmental safe, pollution free firm and Industry. It is the cheaper non alcoholic, healthy and very popular beverage in the world. To meet the demand of tea for about 700 crores of world population about 3000 million kg. tea are produced in the global village. The contribution of Asia is the highest. The number of population in Bangladesh is about 16 crores. The growth rate of population is 1.39%. Experimental tea cultivation was started in Bangladesh during British regime in 1839 in Chittagong and commercial tea plantation was started in 1857 at Malnichera, Sylhet. Bangladesh at present is producing on an average 56 million kg of tea from 52317 hectares of land and consuming about 42 million kg of tea per year. It is Observed that due to the lower rate of investment the growth of production is also slow per year, while the internal consumption has been increasing at the rate of 7% to 8% per annum due to change of habit, taste, customs, culture, tradition, higher growth rate of population and rapid urbanization. As a result tea is consumed in higher rate and larger quantity within the country and shrink the export quantity from Bangladesh to other countries of the world. Under the above situation, Bangladesh should undertake more development program for extension, rehabilitation, intensive cultivation of tea, small holding tea cultivation etc. The extensive program may be undertaken in different suitable places such as at Panchagarh and Chittagong hilltract and hilly area of Myminsingh. Traditionally Bangladesh is producing tea in tea garden or tea states. Minimum size of a tea estate is 60.72 hectors (Hafiz T.E), 41 hector (Shafinagar), 50 hector Pallakandi etc. There are 34 tea states which grant area below 300 hectors. Maximum size of a tea state is 3508.28 hectors (Balichra T.E). However, govt. khas land is very limited and large area of land is not available for the establishment of tea estate. It may be pointed out that in the existing tea estates of greater Sylhet and Chittagong only 11964.66 hectors areas may be found suitable for expansion of tea cultivation and also another 9748.98 hectors which are very old tea plant area may be replanted. It is mentioned in the report of BTB, 1999-2004 and survey report of PMTC, 2002 that a total of 101,724 hect. of lands are suitable for small holding tea cultivation, out of this 35000 hect of land are available in Panchaghar (Feasibility study conducted by PMTC, 2002). The Ministry of Commerce of Govt. of Bangladesh has approved a project of entitled “Development of small holding tea cultivation in Northern Bangladesh” with an estimated cost of Taka 1096.70 lakh. The objective and target are to grow small holding tea cultivation in 600 hect. within 8 years (2002-2009), with the proper planning and implementation of programme of small holding tea cultivation, Bangladesh will be able to solve its internal increased and augmented demand. At present there are 877.43 hect. of tea area at Panchaghar of small tea growers, small holding tea cultivator and tea estates.We do hope that small holding tea cultivation will play a great role and contribute in producing a remarkable quantity by which Bangladesh will cover domestic demand and surplus tea will be exported to foreign countries.

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