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Organization Spotlight /
 National Tea Research Institute


Tea Cultivation

Tea Garden
National Tea Research
Future Plan
Facts About Tea


Tea (Camellia Sinensis L.) is used as common beverage in almost all over the world. Pakistan has a long tradition in tea drinking which has become a favourite source of entertainment in the society. The per capita consumption is one kilogram. Pakistan imports all its tea requirements from abroad and, thus, the total annual import of tea was 2,60,000 m. tons in 2000 which costed about Rs. 12.0 billion to the national exchequer. Presently, Pakistan is the second largest importer of tea after United Kingdom. Demand for tea is growing day by day and in the wake of high growth rate of population (3.1% annually), Pakistan is likely to become the world's largest importer of tea by the year 2010 AD.


Tea originated in China and its regular drinking began there in the 6th Century AD. It spread to Japan in 1000 AD and by the middle of 17th Century, tea has invaded Europe. In the mid 18th Century, the British started tea cultivation for the first time in their colony of India (un-divided) but it was Mr. Robert Fortune, an English Botanist who, after studying tea cultivation for 4 years in China, brought 20,000 plants in 1853 to establish tea gardens in India.


Tea is a crop of wide adaptability and grows in a varying range of climates and soils in various parts of the world. Commercial tea plantation is found as far north as Georgia (42 N) and as far south as Argentina (27 S) at altitudes ranging from sea level in Japan to more than 2000m in Kenya. However the following 3 factors/requirements of tea plantation must be ensured before any decision of its commercial plantation is made:

i) Climate: Annual rainfall above 1000mm

         Air temperature; 12 - 30 C

ii) Soil: pH value ranging from 4.5 to 6.5

iii) Labour: Cheap and adequate


Tea plants takes 3 to 4 years before it comes into production. Once established, it remains productive for well over 80 to 100 years. In addition to this, the crop has several other important attractions as compared to other traditional crops.

I) It is highly remunerative crop and no major cash crop in the world can compete it in net-return per unit area.

ii) Being a highly labour intensive, it generates a lot of employment opportunities for rural folk.

iii) Covering the ground vegetatively, it provides protection against soil erosion

iv) It brings culturable waste land under productive use.

v) After processing, it provides the world's cheapest form of beverage.

vi) Being a non-palatable crop to animals, it requires minimum care and protection against grazing animals.


Tea cultivation started for the first time in the then West Pakistan (present Pakistan) in 1958 at village Baffa (District Mansehra) under the auspices of Pakistan Tea Board. These efforts could not prove fruitful for want of proper Govt. attention. This was most probably due to self-sufficiency in tea production in the then East Pakistan (present Bangladesh) and possibly due to certain political reasons. The second attempt was made in 1964 and a pilot project for irrigated tea plantation was initiated by the West Pakistan Agricultural Development Corporation at Misriot Dam near Rawalpindi, but again the efforts failed to make the desired impact on promotion of tea cultivation. The main cause of failure this time was the un-favourable soil and climatic condition for tea cultivation at the site (high soil pH with in adequate rainfall).

Soon after the separation of East Pakistan in 1971, a cell of special crops was created in the Ministry of Food and Agriculture Government of Pakistan and a project entitled "Research and Introduction of Tea in Pakistan" was re-initiated in 1973-74.Later on, the project was handed over to Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), Islamabad. In order to carryout

Tea Garden At NTRI, Shinkiari

Systematic studies on tea, about V/i acres of land was planted under tea in 1976-77 at village Baffa (District Mansehra). Subsequently, in 1982, a four member team of Chinese tea experts was invited under the technical co-operation programme, who surveyed the prospective tea growing areas of northern Pakistan in order to study the feasibility of tea cultivation in the country. Based on their Feasibility Report, a Collaborative Tea Research Programme was developed under which a scientist from PARC was sent to China in 1983 to study tea cultivation and its processing there. Subsequently, having observed the satisfactory growth of tea plants at Daively (District Mansehra), a contract on technical assistance for tea cultivation in Pakistan was signed between Pakistan and China for a period of 3 years commencing from April, 1985.The National Tea Research Station was established in 1986 at Shinkiari, District Mansehra. The Chinese experts visited the prospective tea growing areas again in 1988 and submitted a comprehensive report on the economic feasibility of tea cultivation in Pakistan.


The Station was established in 1986 on 50 acres land at Shinkiari, District Mansehra aimed at undertaking systematic research for evolving tea production package and promoting tea.plantation in the prospective area. A tea garden on 30 acres land had been established with a sound infrastructure on 12 acres land for tea nursery.An adequately equipped soil laboratory and an orthodox miniature tea processing unit had been installed. At present a team of 7 trained Scientists and 2 Engineers are undertaking research on various aspects of tea cultivation and processing.

Single Node Cuttings Vs Multi Node Cuttings


i) To introduce/screen suitable tea varieties and establish model tea gardens.

ii) To assess yield potential and quality of made tea.

iii) To identify the extent of the area suitable for tea plantation.

iv) To evolve production package for tea growers.

v) To process both green and black tea.
vi) To study the processing of tea.


i) Screened 5 Chinese tea varieties suitable for tea plantation in the area and established tea gardens at Shinkairi, Daively and on farmer's field at different locations in districts Mansehra, Battagram and Swat.

ii) Identified 1,50,000 acres (60,000 ha) of land suitable for tea plantation in Hazara and Swat, 85% of which lies in district Mansehra (Map-l)

iii) Obtained a maximum yield of 9 tons of fresh leave (2 tons made tea) per hectare from tea bushes of 7 years age.

iv) Evaluated tea quality, which ranked 2nd best in grade at the International Tea Market, London in 1989.

v) Introduction of private companies and Private tea traders i.e. "Tapal" to hire the lands of farmers on lease basis and ultimately involving in tea plantation.

vi) Developed tea production package and published in Urdu Brochure for tea growers entitled "Chaey ki kasht".

vii) Construction of building for the installation and commissioning of tea processing plant.


i) Evaluation of the production package on the farmer's field under different ecological conditions.

ii) Popularization of tea cultivation through field demonstration and Audio visuals.

iii) Training of rural population on leaf plucking and green tea processing as cottage industry.

iv) Processing, qualitative assessment and marketing of black tea.


i) Reluctance of farmers for tea plantation due to long gestation period (5 years) compare to other cash crops.

ii) Lack of adequate resources (manpower, transport and funds).


The successful plantation of tea has been demonstrated, its yield potential and quality have been assessed to be economically viable, the extent of the area has been identified and finally, the production package for tea growers has been evolved. Now it is the time for practical steps to undertake large scale plantation in prospective tea belt. This task of crucial economic importance could be carried out through the establishment of a statutory body .


Tea (Camellia sinensis) is a plant which:

i) Has vast adaptability to grow in ecological systems ranging from 42N latitude (Georgia) to 30S latitude (Australia)and on altitudes ranging from sea level (Japan) to more than 2000 meters (Kenya).

ii) Is found an ever green bush as well as ever green tree (10 to 20 meter tall).

iii) Can be propagated by seed as well as vegetatively through cuttings.

iv) Flowers twice a year, once in March and then in September/October.

v) Is self sterile and requires cross-pollination for viable seeds. Is not palatable to any kind of animal.

vi) Gives both green tea (non-fermented form) as well as black tea (fermented form) from the same tea plant.

vii) Has an economic productive life of about 100 years.


1. Dr. Abdul Rauf Khan (Director)
2. Mr. Farrukh Siyar Hamid (Senior Scientific Officer, Soil)
3. Mr. Naseer Ahmad (Senior Scientific Officer, Entomology)
4. Mr. Abdul Waheed (Scientific Officer. Horticulture)
5. Mr. Zulfiqar ALI (Asstt. Engineer, Mechanical)
6. Mr. Noor Alam Khan (Scientific Officer, Horticulture)
7. Mr. Shamsul Islam (Scientific Officer, Soil Science)
8. Mr. Asad kamal (Asstt. Engineer, Mechanical)
9. Mr. Sajjad Hussain (Agri. Economist)

P.O. BOX NO. 1031.

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