Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi has said that the government is set to recognise seven firms and one individual for their outstanding contribution in different sectors of the tea industry by delivering the ‘National Tea Award’, for the first time in the country.
The initiative was taken to inspire and boost the advancement of the tea industry, the minister said at a meeting of the National Tea Award selection body which was formed to mark the National Tea Day-2023 at the ministry on Monday (May 22).
The awards will be given in eight categories — highest producing garden based on yields per acre, highest quality tea producer, best tea exporter, best small-scale producer and best tea garden in terms of workers’ welfare.
Besides, producers will be awarded for marketing diverse tea products and providing the best packaging while there is also an individual award for the best tea picker.
The minister will hand over the National Tea Award among the winners at a programme celebrating National Tea Day which is held on June 4 each year.
Tipu Munshi, who presided over the meeting said “Every year, National Tea Day is observed across the country to commemorate the unprecedented contribution of Father of the Nation to the country’s tea industry.
Besides, Bangladesh Tea Board and stakeholders including tea garden owners, producers, marketing and packaging companies are also contributing individually to the national economy. The government decided to launch the award to recognise the contribution of these firms and individuals.”
The government is also focusing on international standard research to enhance production and battle the future challenges of climate change, he stated, adding that, the tea industry has secured a strong and sustainable ground due to different development campaigns of the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
He also directed Bangladesh Tea Board (BTB) members and ministry officials to continue their efforts to explore new space for Bangladeshi tea in the international market after meeting domestic demands.
The country’s tea-producing districts include Moulvibazar, Habiganj, Sylhet, Chittagong, Panchagarh, Brahmanbaria, Rangamati. Last year, some 94 million kilogrammes of tea were produced, according to the BTB.
The sector is currently dominated by Bangladeshi conglomerates, including MM Ispahani Limited, Kazi & Kazi, the Transcom Group, James Finlay Bangladesh, the Orion Group, the Abul Khair Group, the Meghna Group of Industries and Duncan Brothers Bangladesh Limited.