Tea garden owners express their agitation in a press meet held in a city hotel on Sunday.
Sylhet Bureau :
Sylhet’s tea industry is prone to various crises including smuggling, rising prices of various products, market control, high rate of bank loan repayment. As a result, there is anger among the garden owners. However, in 1854, the first commercial tea cultivation started in the country through the Malnichhara tea garden in Sylhet. Out of 135 tea gardens in the three districts of Sylhet, there are 92 in Moulvibazar, 24 in Habiganj and 19 in Sylhet. Hundreds of people earn their living by selling their labor in these plantations.
Tea plantation owners’ organization of Sylhet T-Planter arranged a press conference at elite hotel in Sylhet on Sunday and highlighted various crises. Owners and representatives of 25 gardens of Sylhet Division were present in the conference. Tea garden owner Mohammad Mufti Hasan spoke on behalf of the organisation in the press conference.
At the time, he said that the livelihood of several lakhs of workers and employees depended on the tea industry. Indirectly, several lakhs of people earn their living through the tea industry. Currently the tea industry is in a difficult situation.
In a written statement, he said, due to the increase in the prices of medicines, fertilizers and various products used in the garden, the cost of production has increased several times, but the auction price has decreased even more. Good quality tea was being sold at Taka 220 and above which was less than the cost of production. Currently, the auction price has come down from Tk 170 to Tk 175 to Tk 100 to Tk 110.