Union Minister of State for Commerce,Jairam Ramesh,today suggested that the tea industry of Kangra switch to mass production of organic tea,with the branding-Kangra Orthodox Organic Green Tea,to maintain a separate identity for Kangra tea.
The minister,who was speaking at a one-day seminar on prospects of Kangra tea here,also favoured a separate economic and social policy for Kangra tea growers.
Ramesh said that of the total 950 million kg tea production,Kangra tea constituted barely 0.1 per cent. He mentioned that Kangra was now producing only 8 lakh kg tea compared to 17 lakh kg,ten years ago.
Though Kangra tea already has Geographical Indications (GIs) status,its popularity has been on the wane lately. Ramesh assured that the Tea Board of India would organise a buyer-seller meet at Palampur in June this year to explore possibilities of marketing Kangra tea,adding that the Board would ensure that bulk buyers from Amritsar,Gujarat and Assam interact with the tea producers. He also assured that at the forthcoming International Tea Festival in Kochin in February next,a stall will be sponsored exclusively for exhibiting Kangra tea. Speaking on the occasion,Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said the state government is open to join hands with the Tea Board to share and promote Kangra tea. The CM also agreed that the tea be named as Kangra Orthodox Green Organic Tea.