ISLAMABAD (APP) - Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture, Nazar Muhammad Gondal has taken a serious note of the slow progress on the tea plantation and handing over the possession of land to the private sector in the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province. The minister was chairing a meeting of the project on tea plantation, Commercialization of Tea Production through Public Private Partnership, here on Monday, says a statement issued by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture here. Gondal conveyed his concern on the slow progress and delay in the crucially important area for tea production in the country. We spend a heavy foreign exchange on the import of tea. The land in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa (K.P) is ideally fit for the cultivation of tea. Delay in this direction is beyond comprehension , added the minister. The Minister gave a final deadline of May 15, 2010 to formulize MoUs and Lease Agreements for giving the possession of land for tea cultivation to private sector by the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa (K.P) government, otherwise the component of K.P will be excluded from the project and it will focus on Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) for tea cultivation. May 25, 2010 was given as another deadline for the inauguration of Tea Plantation in the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa. The meeting was informed that the tea project was doing well in AJK and tea has already planted after heading over the possession of land to the private sector. In Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, the land has already identified but the crucial step of handing over the land to the private sector, mentioned in the PC-1 of the project, remains a hurdle and delays the most productive project. The meeting was also attended by the Project Director Dr Farrukh Siyar, the private investor Khwaja Zahid Waheed and the senior officials of the ministry.