Assam declares tea as “State Drink”

Assam tea gardens

Assam tea gardens

Assam has declared tea as the ‘state drink’ in a bid to encourage the industry. Going one step forward, former president APJ Abdul Kalam described tea as India’s ‘national drink’ saying over 22% of tea produced worldwide is consumed in India.

“It is in my competence, we have already decided to declare tea as the state drink,” chief minister Tarun Gogoi said at the inaugural function of three-day World Tea Science Congress at the Tocklai Experimental Station here on Tuesday.

Gogoi said he would take up an initiative to make tea the national drink. The Tea Congress is a Tocklai centenary initiative being attended by participants from China, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, Kenya, Japan etc.

Gogoi observed that India’s slump to the fourth position from no 1 in tea export was partly due to lack of research. Today, countries including China, Sri Lanka and Kenya are giving India a run for their money. The chief minister echoed Kalam, who inaugurated the Congress, that there should be a dedicated research fund for the tea industry.

Earlier, speaking in light of India’s slump in tea production, Kalam said the industry should lay more thrust on the proper marketing of tea.

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