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Manipur looks to combat poppy cultivation with tea plantation

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Guwahati, Oct 11 (Waari Singbul Network): Even as Manipur grapples to combat the menace of widespread deforestation allegedly caused by large scale poppy cultivation in the hills of Manipur, a private tea company has embarked on a path-breaking initiative to replace narcotic plantations with tea gardens.

Meckley Tea India, a recent entrant into the Indian tea industry, has invested in promoting tea in Manipur and has identified several picturesque locations in the state, blessed with lush green tea gardens and serene landscapes to establish tea tourism destinations in the State. the start-up company from Manipur aims to be a leading player in the Indian tea industry by producing high-quality tea.

Tea Scientist P. Bordoloi, former advisor of Toklai Tea Research Association, the leading Tea research institute in the country, indicated that climate conditions, temperature, rainfall and soil of the hill state may work well to produce the best and highest quality of tea in the world.

Another encouraging indicator of the tea venture is that wild teas naturally grow in the forests of Manipur.

Tea Tourism is a rapidly growing industry that not only offers tourists a unique experience but also generates employment opportunities for the local population. The promotion of tea tourism will create new avenues for employment, ranging from tea plucking to hospitality services, leading to enhanced income and a better standard of living for the local communities. Besides, Tea cultivation is eco-friendly and sustainable, which will contribute to the conservation of Manipur’s pristine natural beauty.

Milan Koijam, Director of this Company, said the target is to produce 16,826.92 kilograms of tea by converting 7,500 hectares of poppy cultivated areas to tea plantations to generate Rs. 72 crores of revenue. Koijam further added that the initiative would provide employment and help curb unemployment and increase the GDP of Manipur. He solicited the support and collaboration of the government, local communities and stakeholders in making the venture a success.

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