What is the scope of tea cultivation in Pakistan?
Ans. Pakistan is the 3rd largest tea importer in the world and a huge amount of its foreign exchange (Rs.12 billion +) has to be spent on import of tea from different tea producing countries. Fortunately, a sizeable land area is available in the NWFP, which can be brought under tea plantation. Besides, savings in foreign exchange, a lot of employment opportunities can be created in the rural areas.
What research and development measures PARC has taken to promote tea cultivation?
The research conducted at NTRI includes:
Survey and identification of suitable areas in the NWFP.
Screened suitable varieties for tea cultivation.
Developed production packages for the farmers.
Trained the progressive farmers and the officials of the extension and research wings of NWFP.
List of research publications available at NTRI page: (www.parc.gov.pk/ntri.html)
Has PARC developed any tea varieties?
Ans. The following exotic germplasm has been tested at NTRI:
High grown Sri Lanka
Out of these the first three varieties have been found suitable and recommend for large scale tea plantation in prospective tea growing areas. Out of total mass selection three lines have been selected and planted for further multiplication as local germplasm.
Which are the suitable areas for tea cultivation in Pakistan?
Ans. Districts of Mansehra, Battagram, Swat and AJK.
What are the major recommendations for promotion of tea cultivation in Pakistan?
Ans. The successful plantation of tea has been demonstrated, its yield potential and quality have been assessed to be economically viable, the extent of the area has been identified and finally, the production package for tea growers has been evolved. Now it is the time for practical steps to undertake tea plantation on commercial scale by involving the private sector.
Mr. Siar Sarwar (SO)