Title of the project: Production and Processing of Tea for Non-Traditional Areas for Upliftment of Rural Economy
The Heritage Tea Garden is running under the Tea Rearsch Board (TRB) Project mode. The Gopali area has approximately 15 acres of land having beautiful tea gardens. STEP –IIT Kharagpur, HERITAGE TEA GARDEN is one of the prized possessions of STEP.
STEP has ever since took upon itself the duty to maintain the heritage with the active assistance of faculties and staffs of STEP.
Tea cultivation is planned to initiate Non-Traditional Ares of South Bengal at STEP land IIT Kharagpur as well as in the farmers' field. Planting material have been procure from tea garden of North Bengal and also propagated from existing tea garden of Agricultural & Food Engg. Department IIT Kharagpur. The tree spices Siris ( albezzia lebbek) used as a shade tree.
Traditionally tea is grown on slopes of hills or high plateau in north eastern region of the country. In west Bengal it is mostly grown in Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling. With increasing demand for home consumption and export, tea growing area are needs to be extended further which is difficult in traditional tea growing zone. Attempts have been made to grow tea in in non traditional area of South Bengal where soil is acid lateritic and land is underutilized with poor productivity. With a successful story of tea cultivation for first four years in Kharagpur region of South Beangal. The present project is initiated since march 2000, for further cultivation of tea and standardization of package of practice of tea cultivation.
Since tea is a very sensitive crop and needs vigorous maintenance, active support is required in terms of additional maintenance costs along with normal maintenance cost under adverse geo-climatic conditions. Some important operational works to maintain the Heritage Tea Garden are as follows-
Drainage and irrigation
Shady tree maintenance
Application of bio-pesticide for preventive measures and removal of pests from the garden
Processing and manufacturing of tea
Maintenance of tea machineries
Sprinkler irrigation system is used to irrigate the tea garden. Other species of plants such as Turmeric, ginger, black pepper, clove etc. are planted on the periphery of the garden. Other useful plats such as Sandal wood, lemon grass, citronella, Guava, sapota, and amla are also planted.