A spokesperson of the Agriculture Department of Himachal Pradesh has said that with the concerted efforts of all the stakeholder departments, Kangra Tea is on the path of continuous improvement and soon the Geographical Indication Tag (GI Tag) for European Union is also likely to be awarded.
He 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.
The spokesperson said that at present, the development and cultivation of Kangra Tea is being promoted and looked after by four departments i.e. Tea Board of India Regional office Palampur, Cooperative & Agriculture departments of the State and CSIR, IHBT Palampur and Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Agriculture University, Palampur.
He said 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 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 the awareness training programmes in collaboration with Tea Board of India and scientific fraternity of 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 December 14, 2021 in which all big scale tea estates, small scale entrepreneurs and Self Help Groups and tea growers participated.