180,000 acres of land waiting for tea planting in Pakistan
MANSEHRA, Sep. 1 (China Economic Net) - “Whatever tea industry established in Pakistan, it will be very successful and beneficial, because tea is needed in every house and it is the thing that people use daily. in Pakistan. Every morning people start with tea,”said Aman Paracha, chairman of Pakistan Tea Association.
Tea is a major import commodity in Pakistan and is draining huge foreign exchange every year. “Approximately 250 million kg of tea is imported by Pakistan per year, which is equivalent to nearly $600 million. The number is still going up.” Aman stressed that local tea production is fast becoming a matter of urgency.
“As tea planting requires a special climate, we have suitable regions like Mansehra, Batagram, and Malakand. There is too much land available in Mansehra where you can grow it, and it is very suitable for tea. Along with this, if you move forward to Swat and ahead, there are more regions as well.” Aman told us that according to their survey, Pakistan currently has approximately 158.000 acres of area which is a potential for tea planting. If forest area is included, tea can be produced on approximately 180,000 acres of land in Pakistan.
Aman told us that the biggest hindrance to starting in the tea industry is the big investment in both time and money at the beginning. “5 years is required to get a new tea plant ready for production. Besides, 5 lac rupees will be spent on each acre in 5 years. As production starts coming in 5 years, that is why local farmers step back to grow things that can pay back immediately. But after 5 years of planting tea, he can get more benefits as tea plants can keep on giving production for the next 100 years.”
“If any multinational company comes and takes the land to run it, it is hopeful that in the coming year, we will have a lot of tea land in the forest.” Aman suggested.
CPEC is benefiting Pakistan with better transport and other conditions. It also involves areas fit for tea planting. Aman believes that as one of the biggest tea producing countries, China can cooperate with Pakistan in tea production.“Some of the tea which is produced here is going to Japan and becoming very popular and even famous. Along CPEC, there is an area that starts from Abbottabad to the district of Batagram where tea plants can be cultivated. If the Chinese come to develop it, good tasting tea will be produced and we can share the benefits.”