Panchagarh in the north of Bangladesh, has been growing tea since 2000 when cultivation was launched by the then Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina. Production in this new tea region has been steadily increasing, boosting earnings for local farmers.
The Bangladesh Tea Board said recently that development of the tea sector in the region has created employment for more than 12,000 people, including 8,500 women who have been lifted out of extreme poverty by earning better wages as tea pluckers. Other benefits, such as three meals a day, sanitation, safe drinking water, and health care are further improving lives. Since 2005, production has increased about 100,000 kg per year. In 2014 the region produced 1.421 million kg of quality tea, and is expected to surpass that in 2015.
Some 3,500 acres are now planted and six large companies, including Kazi and Kazi, whose tea sells internationally under the Teatulia brand, Tentulia Tea Company, Kartoa Tea Associate Ltd, Green Care Agro Limited, Green Energy Tea Factory, and North Bengal Tea Factory all grow tea in the area. There are hopes for further expansion of the industry in this and neighboring regions in the future.