Kangra Tea is on the path of continuous improvement and soon the Geographical Indication Tag (GI Tag) for the European Union is also likely to be awarded soon with concerted efforts of all stakeholder departments, an official of Himachal Pradesh Agriculture department said on Wednesday.
The official said that the subject of Tea Cultivation and Development was transferred from the Industries department to the Agriculture department in April 1999 and since then various steps have been taken to improve tea cultivation in the state and particularly in Kangra.
With the concerted efforts of the department, in the year 2005, the Kangra Tea was accorded the status of Geographical Indication Tag in India.
At present, the development and cultivation of Kangra Tea are being promoted and looked after by four departments i.e. Tea Board of India Regional office Palampur, Cooperative and Agriculture departments and CSIR, IHBT Palampur, and Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Agriculture University, Palampur, he added.
He stated that more than one lakh plants were provided to the tea growers in the financial year 2021-22 and an area of 5.6 hectares was brought under fresh plantation.
The department is providing the tea plants to the tea growers both for infilling in the existing gardens and also for fresh plantations at the doorstep of the growers (on FOR basis) at the nominal cost of Rs 2 per plant to the General farmers and Rs 1 per plant for the Scheduled Caste category farmers.
The department is also organising awareness training programmes in collaboration with the Tea Board of India and the scientific fraternity of the Tea Department of Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Agriculture University (CSKHPKV), Palampur to impart the latest technical know-know being developed by the research institutes in the field of tea cultivation.
As an initiative, a large-scale Tea Fair was also organised at the Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (IHBT), Palampur on 14th December 2021 in which all big-scale tea estates, small scale entrepreneurs, Self Help Groups, and tea growers participated, he added.