|Brewing up a storm: Artists perform at the opening ceremony of the international Thai Nguyen Tea Culture Festival on Saturday. The festival honours tea grower and promotes national tea culture and business. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Duc
THAI NGUYEN (VNS)— The second international Tea Culture Festival has opened in the northern mountainous province of Thai Nguyen.
The biennial festival aims to honour growers while promoting Vietnamese tea culture and business.
Addressing the ceremony on Saturday, Chairman of the National Assembly Nguyen Sinh Hung praised farmers and businesses for their efforts to make Viet Nam's tea internationally famous.
He thanked the international community for their assistance to the development of the tea sector in Viet Nam.
He said he believed that together with endeavours made by Thai Nguyen and other tea-growing localities, Viet Nam's tea industry would further mature and the tea culture would grow in stature both at home and abroad.
The wide range of activities during the three-day event include a tea culture festival, a tea carnival, plus the final round of a beauty contest for young women from tea growing areas.
Other activities taking place before and during the festival include a photo exhibition depicting tea production and the people of the province hard at work.
Festival goers can enjoy a market specialising in tea products and cultural items from Viet Nam's various ethnic groups.
To further develop the Vietnamese tea industry, a workshop was held to discuss Thai Nguyen tea, which was recently recognised by the Asian Records Organisation.
The workshop yesterday gathered several scientists, researchers, businessmen and specialists in the tea business. Representatives from the Viet Nam Tea Association, the Viet Nam Tea Corporation, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, as well as those from tea-growing provinces, including Phu Tho, Ninh Binh, Tuyen Quang, Bac Can, Lang Son and Cao Bang, joined the event.
During the workshop, lecturers presented reports on the reality of tea farming and processing in Viet Nam; analysis on the market and elements affecting the industry's economic value; plus how to build up and promote the "Thai Nguyen Tea" trademark.
The provincial tea industry's current challenges were also mentioned, including the low-yield traditional processing method, limited range of products, unattractive packaging, inappropriate marketing strategies, plus tea growers' lack of market knowledge and promotion skills.
At present, Viet Nam ranks fifth among countries with the largest tea growing areas, boasting 130,000ha, of which 18,600ha are in Thai Nguyen.
Thanks to a favourable land and weather conditions, Thai Nguyen tea products are presented in many cities and provinces nationwide and are also exported to foreign markets.
The province's annual tea output is around 185,000 tonnes. Annual exports of dried tea amount to 7,000 tonnes, earning more than US$10.7 million, equivalent to 11 per cent of the country's tea export turnover.
Thai Nguyen's products are available in many countries and territories, including the US, Canada, China, Japan, India, Taiwan, Russia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Eighty-one tea growers and three foreign delegations are taking part in the three-day Thai Nguyen Tea Festival, which will wrap up today. — VNS