JORHAT, June 29 � �Unless one has the guts to face problems, one will not succeed in any field,� said Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi in his speech as the chief guest at the 74th annual general meeting of the Assam Tea Planters� Association at Gymkhana Club here today.
He said that the tea planters should be well equipped to face the challenges in the management of tea gardens. Appreciating Abhijit Sharma, a successful tea planter, for his good technique in tea garden management, Gogoi said that due to the lack of proper management, most of the tea gardens in Assam have been severely affected.
He also wondered why some tea growers are prospering while others not, even though the climate and the soil are the same. Highlighting the importance of re-plantation in old tea gardens, Gogoi suggested mechanisation and use of modern technologies to improve productivity.
In his welcome address, AR Kasera, chairman of ATPA, said that the year 2010 was not favourable for the tea industry in India. Though prices for the north Indian teas have showed some improvement over last year, price of south Indian teas declined sharply, he said. Drop in production, coupled with rising cost of production, has dented the profitability of gardens in the State, he added.
He further presented some statistics pointing out that since Independence, tea production has grown by over 250 per cent even though land area has just grown by just 40 per cent. In the last 10 years, area under tea globally expanded by approximately 8 lakh hectares, compared to India�s 89000 hectares. �The current growth rate of global tea export is 2.33 per cent whereas India's position declined to -0.05. This is a matter of concern,� he added.
He also pointed out that according to per capita consumption of tea, Assam�s rank is 22nd. He further highlighted the problems being faced by the tea industry and sought help from the government and the Tea Board to improve the present condition of the industry.
Rajib Barooah, vice chairman of ATPA, D Bora, secretary of ATPA and many other dignitaries were also present in the function.