It's tea diplomacy with Pakistan, now
Bangalore, Mar 28: It's now tea diplomacy for India with Pakistan, literally.
India has mounted a campaign to sell tea to the neighbouring country, the second highest tea consumer in the world with an annual consumption of about 90 to 100 million kg.
''It's ironical that India, one of the leading tea producers in the world, sells only a miniscule quantity of the beverage to Pakistan,'' Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh told newspersons here today.
Harrison Malayalam, a major South Indian tea producer, had bagged an order from Pakistan to supply three million kg of tea and the Union Commerce Secretary was currently there to negotiate further orders, he said.
Kenya was the major supplier to Pakistan, followed by Sri Lanka, but in view of a crop failure in Kenya, Pakistan was scouting for tea from other countries and India could offer a sizeable quantity of tea, he added.
India currently produced 900 million kg of tea with 20 per cent of it being exported.