DIBRUGARH, Oct 5 - Following drastic fall in the price of green tea leaves in Upper Assam, the All Assam Small Tea Growers� Association (AASTGA) today slammed the Tea Board of India for its failure to suppress factors detrimental to the tea trade.
AASTGA general secretary Rohit Borgohain said that due to the inefficiency of the Tea Board in monitoring and controlling the tea trade, some of the bought leaf tea factories and tea estates producing good quality tea are selling their produce at very low prices in the tea auction centres. �Prices in the tea auction centre is directly affecting the small tea growers as they are receiving very low price for their green tea leaves,� he said.
The AASTGA leader further said that despite training a large chunk of the growers in 2014 on plucking good quality leaves, some are continuing to pluck long and coarse leaves. �Some unscrupulous and unauthorised agents too are engaged in collecting low quality leaves at cheaper rates and supplying them to the factories and tea estates,� Borgohain said.
The Factory Advisory Officers of the Small Tea Growers� Development Directorate under the Tea Board must identify the unscrupulous elements in the tea trade, including the agents and buying factories and tea estates, and take legal action against them, the AASTGA general secretary demanded.
The price of green tea leaves in most Upper Assam districts is below the benchmark price announced at the district level.