Director Shamim Khan says anti-oxidants prevent aging

Halda Valley exporting premium tea products to China

-A Monitor Report 16 Feb, 2019 | 482 Views|-+
Dhaka : Bangladesh, after becoming an importer of tea, has again started exporting the product - that too, to the land which gave the world tea - China, from 2016.

The credit goes to Halda Valley Tea Company Ltd., a concern of PNL Holdings, one of the prominent corporate houses of the country. It acquired the tea estate in 2003 which lay abandoned for nearly two decades.

Led by the vision of Nader Khan, Managing Director, they have become, within only 16 years of taking over the estate, the highest yielding tea garden of the country.

Shamim Khan, Director, Halda Valley Tea Company said this while talking to The Bangladesh Monitor at his Gulshan office in the city recently.

Shamim Khan said, "We introduced modern technology in tea plantation and production process at our garden at Fatikchhari, Chattogram, complemented by state-of-the-art irrigation system, use of own vermicompost as well as of modern plantation appliances."

Halda Valley Tea Estate is now considered one of the model "A" category gardens with 100 per cent permanent irrigation system and 99 per cent clone tea plants spread over 920 acres, increasing the acreage by 100 acres each year.

The garden was awarded the first prize in Tree Plantation Category in 2010 and for Highest Tea Production per Acre by the government in 2017.

Niche market

Targeting the niche market, specially tea enthusiasts and connoisseurs, Halda Valley produces premium products like Dragon Well Green Tea, Silver Needle White Tea, Golden Eyebrow Black Tea, Dragon Fruit and other kinds of fruits at the estate.

He said, "We also have plans to export our premium teas to European countries and Australia."

Shamim Khan said tea was introduced to this subcontinent during the British Raj and consumers here generally add milk and sugar. This destroys the qualities of tea which are good for health. Tea is best taken without milk or sugar.

He said the history of Dragon Well Green Tea goes back to Qing Dynasty and Silver Needle White Tea goes back to the Tang dynasty in China. The former variety of tea originated from Hangzhou of Zhejiang, while the latter from Taimushan mountains in Fujian, China. At present, Dragon Well Green Tea and Silver Needle White Tea is the most appreciated variety amongst the green and white teas around the world.

Premium teas

Talking about the tea plants from where the two premium teas are produced, Shamim Khan said it all started with the visit of Qiu Xueting, a reputed and highly experienced Chinese Tea Master in 2014. While going round the Halda Valley garden he discovered some plants similar to the Chinese ones.

He said, "We have a Tea Master who comes to our garden three or four times a year to train the tea makers, evaluate quality starting from plucking, pruning and finally to the making process. A quality assurance team checks every step of the processing - plucking, carrying to the factory, weathering, machine compliance to final processing and storage".

Talking about the health attributes, he said, these two tea varieties are good for weight loss, lowers cholesterol, blood pressure and risk of heart attack, lowers risk of cancer, Type II diabetes, helps fight tooth decay and bad breath, and anti-oxidants prevent aging,

A natural chemical theanine in the two teas helps produce a calming effect, Shamim Khan said, adding, "I can go on talking for hours about the beneficial aspects of drinking tea.

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