The National Tea Day-2023 will be observed tomorrow for the third time in the country with the theme 'Cha Dibosh er Songkolpo, Somrikddho Cha Shilpo' (A prosperous tea industry is the pledge of Tea Day).
President Mohammed Shahabuddin and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages, on the eve of the day, conveying greetings to all who are involved in the tea sector.
In his message, President Mohammed Shahabuddin said:"On the occasion of 'National Tea Day', I extend my sincere greetings to tea workers, owners and all associated with this industry."
Noting that 'Tea' is one of the most popular beverages around the world, the head of the state said the first tea cultivation started in Bangladesh in the 19th century.
The President mentioned that Father of Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was the first Bengali Chairman of the Tea Board.
Highlighting Bangabandhu's contribution to the tea industry, he said Bangabandhu played an important role in the development of the tea industry during his tenure as the Chairman of the Tea Board from June 4, 1957 to October 23, 1958.
Bangabandhu later made an outstanding contribution to the rehabilitation of the war-damaged tea industry after the country became independent, he added.
Bangabandhu upgraded the 'Tea Research Station' at Srimangal in 1973 to a full-fledged research institute which is currently playing a leading role in tea research in the country as 'Bangladesh Tea Research Institute (BTRI)', said Shahabuddin.
The President hoped that the efforts of all concerned in the tea industry, including the Ministry of Commerce and Bangladesh Tea Board, will continue to increase their contribution towards the tea industry for maintaining the overall development of the tea industry.
The Prime Minister, in her message, said Bangabandhu made outstanding contributions to the country's tea industry during his tenure as the first Bangalee Chairman of the Tea Board.
Under his direct instruction, the Tea Research Institute at Srimangal and the Tea Board office at Motijheel, Dhaka were established in 1957, the premier said.
The date 'June 4' has been declared as The 'National Tea Day' to commemorate Bangabandhu's contribution to the tea industry and make the date of his joining in the Tea Board memorable, she added.
When the Awami League government came to power in 1996, it took initiative to expand the tea industry in North Bengal in the country, she said, adding that as a result, tea cultivation has expanded in Panchagarh, Thakurgaon, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Dinajpur and Rangpur districts.
Every year, the plantations of these regions are surpassing the past records of tea production, she said, adding that a record amount of 17.78 million kilogram (Kg) of tea was produced in 2022 in the northern part of the country solely.
"In the light of the National Tea Award Policy-2022, I applaud the initiative of awarding 'National Tea Award' for the first time on the occasion of National Tea Day this year," she added.
She believed that it will give motivation to tea garden owners, tea-workers, tea-exporters and all concerned.
Both the president and the premier wished all the success of the day.
Marking the day, the government will give National Tea Award to eight individuals and institutions under eight categories for the first time tomorrow.
The government introduced the award for companies and individuals to recognize their extraordinary performances in the country's tea sector, said a press release here today.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi will hand over the award to the recipients at 10 am tomorrow at a function at BTRI High School ground in Sreemangal upazila of Moulvibazar district as the government this year decided to organize the main programme of the day there to ensure direct participation of tea workers.
Bangladesh Tea Board (BTB) is organizing the programme while a day-long tea fair and exhibition will be organized there, which will remain open for all.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha