Special package to benefit small tea growers of state too
By Our Correspondent, 16/05/2018, Guwahati

Special package for small tea growers in Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura (non-traditional areas), Sikkim, and North Cachar Hills and Karbi Anglong districts of Assam has been announced by the Tea Board of India.According to a report by the board, this package will only be available in the non-traditional areas of the Northeast which has high potential for growing and manufacturing teas suitable to consumers’ tastes.

The special package by the Board emphasizes on growing orthodox, green and specialty teas over CTC teas as they have a greater demand and fetch a good price for small growers.Centre has approved the guidelines of Tea Development and Promotion Scheme to be implemented from 2017 -2020 for Rs 394.85 crore.The assistance under the special package will include raising tea nursery by self-help groups, new planting by farmer producer organizations, setting up mini-tea processing factories, training and study tour for self-help groups.

“Efforts made during the previous plan periods have resulted in creating awareness among small farmers in the non-traditional NE states on the advantages of growing tea. Besides creating a perennial asset for generating regular income for farmers, it also plays a significant role in weaning away the farmers from shifting ( jhum) cultivation and preserving the environment,” the Board said.Around 2.5 lakh small tea growers of the country contribute 46 per cent to the total tea production.