DIBRUGARH, Oct 18 - In an effort to rehabilitate and reinvigorate the stress-gripped tea industry in the country, BRS Ventures, the company which recently took over the ownership of 15 tea estates of the country�s oldest tea company � Assam Company India Limited (ACIL) today showcased new agri technologies that could revolutionise the tea industry and unlock its optimal potential.
The BRS Ventures has roped in foreign firms from USA, Australia and Israel like Smart Farms Inc., Powertech, SMX (Security Matters) and Quantum Crowd to help the tea industry start a new business model with technologies. In this connection, a demonstration of aerial spraying of pesticides and fertilisers with the help of an autonomous agricultural drone was done before the newsmen today.
ACIL under the leadership of BRS Ventures is also seeking to introduce the marking system for tea for the purpose of identification, tracking the supply chain movement, ensuring quality and for proof of authenticity right from the tea bush to the end consumer. �Apart from tracking and for other quality issues, the marking technology is also meant to directly connect the farmer with the consumer (VRS Ventures has adopted the term �farmer� and �partner� while referring to garden workers) so that a farmer (with digital account) may benefit whenever any consumer is inclined to dole out tips for the quality of the tea consumed. The whole idea is to bring technology and innovation forefront of the tea industry. This will not only impact the lives of 26,000 farmers at our estates, but the entire workforce employed in the tea sector across the country and bring back the past glory of the Indian tea industry,� said Dr BR Shetty, chairman, BRS Ventures.
Along with the demonstration and highlights of the new technologies, ACIL in partnership with Smart Farms Inc. today commenced a seven-day workshop to create a solution based on big data, block chain and artificial intelligence to bolster the tea industry with consortium of experts from around the world at nearby Maijan tea estate . The workshop according to the organisers would involve studying the fields and creating an architectural plan supported by technology to completely re-orient the future of tea farming. ACIL will invest in this solution and engage Smart Farm Inc to run a pilot project starting early next year. After successful completion of the pilot project, the solution will be offered to the other tea estates in the country, which would not require any capital investment from them, said officials from the BRS Ventures.
The entire exercise according to Dr BR Shetty is to make farming a profitable and rewarding career by increasing capacity from the current 11 million kilos to 50 million kilos in the next five years and thereby improve farmers� lives, working conditions and tea production procedures.
A team of foreign technology experts who are taking part in the week-long workshop include Ran Mcdonald and James Mccarthy from Powertech, Avital Tractitman from SMX (Security Matters), Darren Mcvean from Quantum Crowd and CEO Natraj Balasubramanian from Smart Farms Inc. (EOM)
Natraj Balasubramanian said that each facet of the tea industry including human resources, finance, product, research & innovation, supply chain, operations and administration would be covered during the workshop. �The pilot project will start by integrating cutting edge technologies from various industries and agri firms. We are confident that our solution will be able to revive the tea estate and help it reach its goals,� said Balasubramanian.
The inaugural meeting cum press conference was also attended by Rameshwar Teli, Dibrugarh MP and Union Minister for State for Food Processing Industries, Prabhat Bezbaruah, chairman, Tea Board, Dr AK Barua, director, TRA, Joydeep Phukan, secretary, TRA. Sanjay Jain, director, ACIL, officials of BRS Ventures and other managerial staff of ACIL.