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BY JULIO P. YAP JR.
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China might import tea from Philippines
TEA is one of the the most widely consumed drinks in the world – next of course to water. It originated in China, and was used as a medicinal drink.
It is an aromatic beverage which is commonly prepared by pouring boiling or hot water over cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis.
It was learned that tea was popularized as a recreational drink during the Chinese Tang dynasty, and tea drinking spread to other East Asian countries.
However, Chinese agriculture officials have revealed that they cannot plant tea on Chinese soil anymore because of the low quality of their soil which is already contaminated.
With this development, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Ismael Sueno announced a partnership that will further bolster the ties between the Republic of China and the Philippines.
Sueno said that China is determined to enter into a partnership with the Philippines to come up with a world class tea to be produced in Philippine soil.
“They (Chinese agriculture officials) still want to get on with the production of the tea, and they have found a right place in the Philippines. You know where that place is? That’s in Mindanao,” he said.
Sueno said that while China can no longer produce a high value aromatic beverage which they are known for in the early years, they have found a place within the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) that is suited to their demand.
He said the chairman of the Bank of China has clearly expressed the government’s desire to set up a 6,000 hectare tea plantation within the territory of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Sueno explained that the Chinese investors are well aware that the area which they have chosen to plant tea is within the MILF community.
“Sabi nila na bahala na if they lose 1 billion yuan basta they have attempted to help the people in Mindanao,” he said.
According to Sueno, he was inspired by the willingness and determination of the Chinese people not only to produce high value tea but to also help the Filipinos in terms of agricultural production.
He promised to do everything in his capacity as DILG secretary to protect the proposed world class aromatic tea plantation in ARMM.
“I will go to the (MILF) commanders, to the governor, and the mayors in the area and talk to them in order to protect them. This will be a world class tea plantation. One kilo will cost about $10,000,” Sueno said.
He was in China with President Rodrigo R. Duterte recently where he met with the chairman of the Bank of China and other officials for around two hours./PN