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52nd AGM of Tea Research Association

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Oct 3 - Tea Research Association (TRA) held its 52nd Annual General Meeting at Kolkata on September 30, which was attended by 203 members from across the tea industry, said TRA secretary Joydeep Phukan in a statement here on Saturday.

Prabhat Bezboruah, incoming Chairman of TRA highlighted the research work carried out by the Association in the last one year and stated that the Association is going through unprecedented financial crisis due to non release of approved funds by Government of India. He stated that an amount of Rs 37 crores are due from the Government whereas dues worth Rs 10 crores are payable by TRA.

The Chairman TRA thanked the industry for increasing their subscription to run the institute in times of non payment by the Government. The Chairman stated that as per pilot study done by TRA in association with ETP and TATA Global Beverages, certain regions of Assam will be extremely vulnerable to climate change affects by 2050.

He also stated that TRA have brought out package of practices for mitigating climate changes effects. He also stated that TRA is opening up different verticals including outsourced research from overseas countries for revenue generation and self sustenance.

Chandra Mohan Patowary, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Transport and Parliamentary Affairs, Government of Assam who graced the occasion as Chief Guest stated that the Association should be provided proper funds either from the Government or from the industry.

He stated that the fund crunch which is affecting TRA will ultimately affect the tea industry and will not be able to compete with other tea growing countries. He stated that TRA should be brought either under ICAR or CSIR for proper funding.

The Minister stated that tea companies are not spending the desired two per cent CSR funds in Assam and he urged companies having operations in Assam to spend their CSR funds in the State.

He stated that he has already taken up the issue of release of funds to TRA with the Minister of Commerce and Industry (Independent Charge) Nirmala Sitharaman, who has given her assurance. The Minister urged Tocklai to start a course on tea for the benefit of students.

Kamakhya Prasad Tasa, Member of Parliament from Jorhat who was the Guest of Honour for the AGM appreciated the R&D work of Tocklai inspite of financial crunch and stated that Tocklai should start soil health card system for all Assam gardens as the tea soils are being used for more than 150 years. Tasa urged the small tea growers to provide full wages and benefits to workers employed by them. He also requested the heads of tea companies to start Jan Dhan Yojana for the benefit of tea garden workers in Assam. Tasa also stated that the Assam Govt should allocate some funds to Tocklai for small tea growers� training.

Bidyananda Borkakoty, Vice Chairman of Tea Board graced the meeting as Special Guest and stated that Tocklai should aggressively market itself to get more research work from the Government and international agencies. He stated that Tocklai should also approach medium and small gardens to make them members and give their advisory services. He supported the idea of having a tea course at Tocklai for students to learn tea. He stated that Dr APJ Abdul Kalam had given his full support for making tea as a national drink.

Dr AK Barooah, Director, TRA gave an annual round up of the research activities. The meeting ended with a vote of thanks by Jagjeet Singh Kandal, incoming Vice Chairman.

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52nd AGM of Tea Research Association

GUWAHATI, Oct 3 - Tea Research Association (TRA) held its 52nd Annual General Meeting at Kolkata on September 30, which was attended by 203 members from across the tea industry, said TRA secretary Joydeep Phukan in a statement here on Saturday.

Prabhat Bezboruah, incoming Chairman of TRA highlighted the research work carried out by the Association in the last one year and stated that the Association is going through unprecedented financial crisis due to non release of approved funds by Government of India. He stated that an amount of Rs 37 crores are due from the Government whereas dues worth Rs 10 crores are payable by TRA.

The Chairman TRA thanked the industry for increasing their subscription to run the institute in times of non payment by the Government. The Chairman stated that as per pilot study done by TRA in association with ETP and TATA Global Beverages, certain regions of Assam will be extremely vulnerable to climate change affects by 2050.

He also stated that TRA have brought out package of practices for mitigating climate changes effects. He also stated that TRA is opening up different verticals including outsourced research from overseas countries for revenue generation and self sustenance.

Chandra Mohan Patowary, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Transport and Parliamentary Affairs, Government of Assam who graced the occasion as Chief Guest stated that the Association should be provided proper funds either from the Government or from the industry.

He stated that the fund crunch which is affecting TRA will ultimately affect the tea industry and will not be able to compete with other tea growing countries. He stated that TRA should be brought either under ICAR or CSIR for proper funding.

The Minister stated that tea companies are not spending the desired two per cent CSR funds in Assam and he urged companies having operations in Assam to spend their CSR funds in the State.

He stated that he has already taken up the issue of release of funds to TRA with the Minister of Commerce and Industry (Independent Charge) Nirmala Sitharaman, who has given her assurance. The Minister urged Tocklai to start a course on tea for the benefit of students.

Kamakhya Prasad Tasa, Member of Parliament from Jorhat who was the Guest of Honour for the AGM appreciated the R&D work of Tocklai inspite of financial crunch and stated that Tocklai should start soil health card system for all Assam gardens as the tea soils are being used for more than 150 years. Tasa urged the small tea growers to provide full wages and benefits to workers employed by them. He also requested the heads of tea companies to start Jan Dhan Yojana for the benefit of tea garden workers in Assam. Tasa also stated that the Assam Govt should allocate some funds to Tocklai for small tea growers� training.

Bidyananda Borkakoty, Vice Chairman of Tea Board graced the meeting as Special Guest and stated that Tocklai should aggressively market itself to get more research work from the Government and international agencies. He stated that Tocklai should also approach medium and small gardens to make them members and give their advisory services. He supported the idea of having a tea course at Tocklai for students to learn tea. He stated that Dr APJ Abdul Kalam had given his full support for making tea as a national drink.

Dr AK Barooah, Director, TRA gave an annual round up of the research activities. The meeting ended with a vote of thanks by Jagjeet Singh Kandal, incoming Vice Chairman.