By Aamir Latif
Turkey has gifted an automatic tea-processing plant to Pakistan to support tea cultivation based on modern technology, Pakistani media reported Saturday.
Turkish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock sent the plant that would be made operational by April next year, according to English daily Dawn.
The plant would have the capacity to process 400 kilograms (882 pounds) to 500 kilograms (1,102 pounds) of tea per day, National Tea and High Value Crops Research Institute Director Farrukh Siyar Hamid was quoted as saying the report.
The plant would be set up in the country’s first tea garden in Mansehra district, located 70 kilometers (43 miles) from capital Islamabad, Hamid said.
According to the official statistics, Pakistan spent over 23 billion rupees (around $220 million) on tea imports during first six months of 2017.
The country’s tea imports have increased by over 325 percent in the last 20 years.
Tea cultivation suffered a huge set back in the country when one of the largest tea gardens spread over 186 acres was destroyed during a military onslaught against Taliban affiliated militants in the scenic valley of Swat in 2009.