Pakistan government is already pursuing tea plantation in a commercial scale, has decided to cultivate tea on an area of about 25,000 acres over the time period of next five years.
According to the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Food Security Jamshed Iqbal Cheema during his visit to the National Tea and High-Value Crops Research Institute (NTHRI) at Shinkiari, Mansehra, said, “This year we are going to approve a project where we are growing tea on an area of 25,000 acres; we are creating history; we plan to complete the proposed tea plantations over the next five years.”
Out of the proposed 25,000 acres of land, 10,000 are government-owned forests; 12,000 acres are private land where the Forest Department has planted forests while 3,000 acres of land have been identified in Azad Kashmir.
Whereas as per the government plan, during the next phase, the tea plantation would be extended to all tea-cultivable land of the country,
SAPM said, the country has great potential for growing tea, as the country has 178,000 acres of tea cultivable land. “Pakistan can grow its own tea,” he added that the country imported 30 million tonnes of tea each year from 15 different tea-producing countries.
Moreover, Pakistan spends Rs 90 billion annually on importing tea. The import value of black tea is Rs 89 billion while Rs 1 billion goes to green tea’s import.
While inviting private tea companies to invest in the tea sector, he said, “We are ready to facilitate and solve any problems of the private companies regarding their investment.”
Cheema said that Pakistan is providing an opportunity to the private companies in order to invest and to promote the tea trade, it would be beneficial for the youth as it will create thousands of jobs for the locals.