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National Tea Day Celebrated at NTHRI, Shinkiari, Mansehra

National Tea Day was celebrated at PARC-National Tea and High Value Crops Research Institute, Shinkiari, Mansehra on 15th December, 2020 with the collaboration of Agri-Tourism Development Corporation of Pakistan. National Tea Day Celebration ceremonty was participated by Agricultural Research Departments, Private tea companies ie Uni-lever and Zaiqa tea, Islamabad, NGOs, Local Communities, students of Unvieritites and Schools thorugh dipslay of tea and other hgih value agricultural products along with the black, green, oloong, jamine scented and Kashmiri chai stalls. The Day celebrations were prsieded by Dr. Ghulam Muhammad Ali, Member Plant Sciences Divsison, PARC, Islamabad.

Dr. Abdul Waheed, Director, PARC-NTHRI, Shinkiari highlighted the importance of Celebrating National Tea Day with the  goal to promote and foster collective actions to implement activities in favour of the sustainable production and consumption of tea and raise awareness of its importance in fighting hunger and poverty. He also explained in detail the long history and the deep cultural and economic significance of tea in Pakistan and around the world. He said that International Tea Day is being observed on December 15 in many countries including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Malaysia, Uganda, India and Tanzania. He said that for the promotion of tea cultivation in Pakistan it is needed to celebrate the day to highight the improtance of tea in our national econonomy and efferots needed for indiginous tea production on sustainable basis to save valuabe froeign exchange. Director NTHRI also briefed the particpants about the research and development activities being carried out at the Institute for the promotion of kiwfuit, olive and othe high value crops cultivation. Heinformed the participants about the availability of true to type fruits nursery plants, kiwifruit plant, olive plants, oil extraction facility, tea processing facilities, soil analysis services for the growers at NTHRI. He said that NTHRI has a close coordination with sister organizatiosn for collaborative approaches to devise plans for making agricuture as profitable business for the local farming communities.

Dr. Ghulam Ali, Member Plant Sciences Divsison, PARC, Islamabad said that Allah Almighty has blessed Pakistan with diverse climatic zones starting from sea level to Karakuram ranges and variety of agricultural crops can be produced round the year. There exists a huge potential to utilize this diversity on sustainble basis for food security and agri-tourism. He said that we have plenty of natural resources but the need of the day is to manage them properly for productive utilization keeping the needs of our future generations safeguarded. He said that with effoerts of PARC Scientists, release of high yielding crops cutivars along with development of appropriate production and processing technologies, the country is now self-suffcient in major food items despite high expansion in population. He invited private sectors and allied organizations to play their role in the commercialization of tea production in Pakistan as PARC-NTHRI has done successful research work for the development of tea production and processing technologies. He appreciated the role of PARC-NTHRI and Agri-Tourism Development Corporation of Pakistan for jointly organizing festival on tea, a global beverage.

Mr. Tariq Tanveer CEO Agri-Tourism Development Corporation of Pakistan briefed the participants that how Agri-Tourism can be used as a source of income generation in Pakistan. He said that we have many imortant agricultural commiditites, whose significance can be highlighted through celebrations in the areas particular to their production and the local communities can benfit manifold through attarction and active participation of the tourists and public. He showed many successful agri-torurism activities in different coutries of the world and explained the retuturns and benfits to the area development. He suggested for declaration of National Tea Day according to tea crop active growing conditions under the local climate.

On this occasion other speakers i.e. Dr. Sahib Gul, Director Agricultural Research Station Baffa, Mr.  Khalid Mehmood, President Zaiqa Tea Company, Islamabadand different farmers highlighted the role of NTHRI and PARC in the promotion of tea and other high value crops.The growers and other participants took keen interest in visiting the Stalls and were briefed about the development of variouis products and technologies related to tea and other high value crops. The praticpants appreciated the role of PARC-NTHRI, Shinkiari for providing quality services to the growers of the area for higher productivity. At the end of the programme shileds were distributed as acknowledgment among those who had rendered services for the promotion of tea cultivaton in Pakistan and those who made this Tea Day Celebration event a successful.

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