ISLAMABAD, May 17 (DNA): Slope planting technology in China to help Pakistan enhancing its tea production, accoding to a report published by Gwadar Pro.
“The biggest challenges that Pakistan tea industry faces is that the price of fresh tea leaves is too low compared with other countries,” said Dr. Abdul Waheed, Director of National Tea and High-Value Crops Research Institute (NTHRI）.
“It takes around 6 to 7 years for tea trees to grow and start its yield. The farmers cannot wait for that long, they need earnings for their daily living.
Secondly, our farmers have less amount of landholding. They just have 3 to 4 kanals of land. We should increase the price so that the farmers can happily process tea and supply it to our factories.”
thinks that Pakistan should make a special area for tea planting. “All the countries that have grown tea like Kenya, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Brondi or other countries have fixed a special area for tea. In Kenya, they called the army to protect that land.
They did not let anyone cultivate other crops there other than tea. We have had a meeting on this with the government but haven’t got the final approval is still left. This time, we are introducing a cluster-based system, in which we have 121 clusters.”
“Right now, the tea produced in our country is not enough for the domestic requirement. If we establish a Tea Board, we can use the forest and hilly areas for growing tea.” Naeem Ahmed, Assistant Technical Officer suggested. “Government should get involved in the process of commercialization and makes policies.
Like in Turkey, they have a state reserved for only growing tea. Due to a large number of cultivation fields, they also get lots of revenue. We also need machinery for tea cultivation.”
“China is a huge country that exports tea and it has more experience. If there can be a collaboration at the government level or some Ministry like Ministry of Agriculture and Food, we can get machinery and experience from them.”
Naeem believes that cooperation with China can help enhance Pakistan tea production. “People working here should be trained in China so that their work capacity increases. And people from China also should come to Pakistan.”
Chinese technologies in tea production also interest Abdul, especially the slope land agriculture technology. “All of our hilly areas are like a slope. The technology will help us to manage this and allow us to irrigate it.
If people start planting tea, it will help us de-salt and fertilize the land. The CPEC project passes near our office. I wish that the containers that come from China should return with loads of tea instead of going empty.”=DNA