Shimla : Commerce minister Anand Sharma on Tuesday announced several steps to revive the exotic Kangra tea grown in Himachal Pradesh’s scenic Kangra valley .
“The union commerce ministry and the state government have worked out a plan to revive the industry by increasing cultivation in the area ,” Sharma said.
After laying the foundation stone of a regional office of the tea board of India the commerce minister said a collection centre would also be opened here soon to obtain tea from tea planters .
“We plan to raise the production of tea to 2 million kg from the current 900,000 kg,” Sharma said .
“To get international buyers for Kangra tea an e-auction window will also be set up ,” Sharma said .
The commerce ministry has also asked the tea board to prepare a plan on mechanisation of the tea industry within two weeks so that planters are not forced to shut down due to high input costs .
Kangra tea has been registered under the Geographical Indications (GI) of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.
The British began cultivation of the Kangra tea in 1882 in the Kangra valley some 260 km from here.
It is grown in a pocket of about 1000 hectares in the Palampur hill slopes and produces 900,000 kg per year.
In recent years the lifting of trade barriers has also adversely hit the local tea industry forcing many to shut down their tea gardens .