Economy, Domestic Economy

Tea Farming at Stake

Tea Farming at StakeTea Farming at Stake

Some 100,000 tons of low quality tea, mainly from India and Sri Lanka, are imported legally and illegally and then sold at prices twice more than those of quality Iranian tea in the domestic market, the head of tea farmers’ union told ISNA on Saturday. Domestic demand for tea is between 135 and 150 thousand tons of the dried leaves every year, while the domestic production stands at 10-15 thousand tons, Iraj Hoosemi said. The decrease in precipitation and the unprecedented heat have severely damaged tea gardens recently. About 13,000 tons of dried leaves of tea were produced last year and the level stands at 11 thousand tons so far in the current year (which started March 21, 2014), he added. The Rouhani administration has earmarked $17 million for improving the management and productivity of tea farms and the revival of 5,000 hectares of abandoned tea farms across the country.