Ranchi: In order to exploit geographic and climatic condition of the state to diversify the agriculture sector, the Jharkhand government is mulling over a plan to introduce tea plantation in the state on a wide scale.

If everything goes as per plan, then very soon the state would witness growth of huge tea estates.

Significantly, in the ‘Tea Map’ sketched during the British period, the climatic condition of Jharkhand has been stated suitable for tea plantation.

Banking on the map, the Agriculture Department had started navigating for options way-back in 2002. On an experimental basis, plantation was started in Hazaribagh district which turned out to be successful. Therefore, the state government is now thinking of expanding the plantations on a large scale.

The tea nurseries in Ranchi, Ramgarh, Mandi, Gonda and Saraikela already have tea plants. The government would now develop these nurseries and make the plants available to the farmers for cultivation purpose.

In order to encourage tea plantation, government is thinking over to provide tea saplings free or on grant.

Normally, the tea plants start giving output within four years and tea production can be done for next 60-70 years from such plants. Five thousand plants can produce 1000 to 1500 quintals of tea.

The average return is as high as 60 percent after producing, processing and packaging of tea.