Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said tea is an integral part of India and the country should be made the "tea hub of the world". Addressing virtually the 69th foundation day of Tea Board, Goyal said production and productivity of the commodity have increased, while the area under cultivation of the beverage has doubled. "There has been a massive transformation of the sector but this should not make us complacent from doing even better. We need to improve more in terms of quality," he said. India has a huge domestic market where 70 per cent of the total tea production is consumed but exports are "going down" despite the country being the second largest producer of the beverage in the world, Goyal said.
According to him, new export destinations will have to be explored, and there is also a need to improve the aroma and taste of the commodity. There are so many varieties of tea available in the country, and these are widely accepted across the world, he said, adding that making the country a "tea hub" would not be much difficult. Referring to the head office of Tea Board, which is now located in the city, Goyal said the location of the headquarters does not matter, whether it is in West Bengal or Assam. "India is one country and we are beads of one necklace", he said. The minister also urged various stakeholders of the industry to give their feedback on the draft "Tea Promotion and Development Bill, 2022" within seven to ten days.