ITANAGAR, July 27 - Arunachal Pradesh is all set for a revolution in the tea industry with more and more farmers opting for the cash crop under a promotional scheme launched by the State Government.
The State Government has been promoting tea cultivation under the Chief Minister�s mission mode project (MMP).
Officials at the Trade & Commerce department disclosed that assistance in the form of planting material to the extent of 13,000 tea saplings and barbed wire for one hectare per beneficiary is being provided by the State Government.
Chief Minister Nabam Tuki in his budget speech on July 15 announced allocation of Rs 5 crore for promoting tea cultivation in 2015-16. Last fiscal too, a fund of Rs 5 crore had been allocated which benefited 465 farmers under the scheme.
Similarly, 465 tea units were established in 2013-14 while in 2012-13, 285 units were established with financial assistance of Rs 3 crore.
�The State Government will closely work with Tea Board of India for technology guidance, technology transfer and extending marketing facilities,� Tuki said.
He also informed that tea cultivation would be taken up on a large scale in the State to provide economic benefit to the rural people and employment to the youths.
�The State Government with the aim to benefit the people through self-sustainable schemes has attached priority in the tea and rubber cultivation under mission mode programmes,� Tuki added.
Farmers, who have set up tea units under the project, termed the scheme as a boon for small and marginal farmers, and demand more assistance in terms of land and maintenance cost to push the plantation drive.
Bimal Lego, who set up a tea unit under the scheme at Oyan in East Siang district, said, �We will need help for 2-5 hectares instead of just one hectare and also maintenance cost up to three years.�
Another tea cultivator from New Deka village in West Siang district, Marto Riba said, �The scheme has opened a new vista of employment for farmers like us and we appreciate the State Government�s efforts to help farmers. Maintenance cost up to 3-4 years will be needed,� he said. � PTI