The Tripura Tea Development Corporation (TTDC), along with Tea Board India and a couple of other stakeholders, have been working on designing a logo and branding of tea produced in the Tripura to expand its market in the country. The tea produced in the state would now be sold under the brand name ‘Tripureshwari Tea’ — a reference to Goddess Tripura Sundari.
Goddess Tripura Sundari, the royal deity of Manikya dynasty, is worshipped at the Tripura Sundari Temple in Udaipur of Gomati district which is among the 51 Hindu Shaktipeethas (holy pilgrimage) of the country.
TTDC chairperson Santosh Saha told reporters on Wednesday that steps would be taken to ensure efficient marketing of Tripura tea and revive the industry in the state.
“It is the age of branding and marketing. So, we have decided to market 100 gram and 50 gram packets of tea produced in Tripura under the brand name Tripureshwari Tea. We have already got government’s approval on this proposal,” Saha said.
He hoped ‘Tripureshwari Tea’ would gain its place in the regional and national tea markets and create a niche for itself like ‘Assam Tea’ or ‘Darjeeling Tea’.
Tripura’s tea industry dates back to 1916 and originated at Hiracherra tea estate in present Unakoti district. However, after a century, tea from the state had to depend on auction centres in Assam and West Bengal. With no banner for its produce, the tea was smuggled in bulks into Bangladesh and sold under other brands.
However, the TTDC has already started working on setting up an auction centre at Agartala and start competitive bidding to take the state’s tea produce at par with those sold at Guwahati or Kolkata-based auction centres.
Saha said branding as ‘Tripureshwari Tea’ will help in creating its market across India and beyond.
“We have proposed to sell our tea at Srimangal auction market in Bangladesh. It will cut down on the cost to send tea to different states and also give us a potential market. The proposal is now being considered by the governments of India and Bangladesh,” he said.
Saha also said that tea tourist circuits would be made centering tea gardens in west Tripura and north Tripura districts. There are tourist resorts in these areas which will help in a collaborative initiative with the Tripura Tourism Development Corporation Limited.
Tripura now has 58 operational tea estates, among which 42 are individually owned, 13 are operated under cooperative societies and three are run by the TTDC. Nearly 3,000 small tea growers also run their small tea estates with government support. As per government estimates, 6,885 hectare land area is under tea cultivation in the state, in which 3.58 crore kilograms green tea leaf is produced annually.