MoALI encourages value addition to tea leaf production in Shan State, Mandalay and Sagaing regions

f312729801cf9a098b817e9394a25d6b LThe Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation has encouraged the tea leaf industry to add value to tea leaf production and foster innovative production of value-added products such as tea leaf wine.
The innovative value-added production includes preserved fresh tea leaves, dried tea leaves (bitter, sweet and sour) and tea leaf wine.
Myanmar is one of the origins of tea leaf and the farms mostly use traditional growing methods. The tea leaf plantations are commonly found in Shan State, Mandalay and Sagaing regions.
The tea leaves can be harvested many times a year depending on the strength of the plants, the region and the weather conditions where they are grown. The tea leaves can be plucked often in summer while the plucking cycle of tea leaves lasts longer in the cold regions. While harvesting the leaves, it is important to leave some parts remaining. The top buds taste the best. The dried tea leaves are named depending on the maturity levels of the tea leaf.
Dried tea leaf businesses run in summer and pre-monsoon season. They suspend business operations in the monsoon season and turn to fresh tea leaf businesses.
Extension of tea leaf cultivation has been implemented as a five-year national project starting from 1991-1992 FY, adding over 239,000 more acres of tea leaf plantations as of 2020-2021 FY.
The number of acres has increased to 240,000 acres in the 2021-2022 FY. The yield was estimated at 230 visses per acre prior to the project. After that, it rose to 275 visses per acre. Nonetheless, the output of tea leaf plantations is way behind that of international countries, the Myanmar Tea Association said.
The annual production of Myanmar’s tea leaves was 69 million visses in the 2020-2021 FY. Myanmar bagged US$2.5 million from tea leaves exports in 2021.
The global tea production amounted to 3.21 million tonnes in 2003 and rose to 4.73 million in 2008. The top tea-leaf-producing countries are China, India, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Türkiye. — TWA/EM

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