The new government in Tripura is keen to boost employment in the state by encouraging tourism around sick tea gardens and boost income of farmers by exporting an exquisite variety of pineapple to Dubai and Hong Kong.
Hotels, restaurant and lodges will be constructed near sick tea gardens to encourage tourists to stay there.
“These tea gardens, which are not doing too well in terms of business, are located in serene environment and are surrounded by natural beauty. Once infrastructure is created, tourists are sure to visit these places. It will help create local employment besides helping tea gardens market their produce,” an official said.
He said the state government is keen to make Tripura famous within and outside the country for “queen” pineapple.
The Tripura queen pineapple got the GI tag in 2015. Production of queen variety pineapple, known for its pleasant aroma, sweet taste and golden yellow colour, has faced some constraints as producers do not get a very good price owing to their facing problems in export.
“We have now decided to tap international market for this pineapple variety and have identified Hong Kong and Dubai as prime destinations for export. We are sure that the queen variety will establish itself in the international market due to its sweetness and unique aroma,” an official said.
He said that transport arrangements have already been put in place for export of the pineapples and the state government has set an ambitious target.
“The purpose is to ensure that the farmers get double the price of their product. Today they are getting about 15 per pineapple but if their product is sold in foreign countries, they would get double the price of their produce,” the official said.
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb said, “Tripura has immense potential in agriculture and the tourism sector but it was not utilized in 25 years of CPI-M rule. We will make Tripura a world class tourism destination and would ensure that the farmers of the state get proper dues for their produce,” he said.
Officials said that people know about Assam tea and Darjeeling tea but Tripura, despite having special variety of tea leaves, is known for its tea.
The state has a history of tea plantations going back to 1916 but these suffered during the spells of insurgency in the state and also because of infrastructure, modernization and management.
The officials said that the decision to boost employment through tourism and agriculture export is in line with the BJP’s pre-poll promises, reports Business Standard.
The party had assured to establish Directorate of tea Gardens for scientific development of tea and facilitate the socio-economic development of tea plantation workers.