GUWAHATI, March 6 - The Tea Board of India and the Directorate of Tea, Assam have jointly made an appeal to the �impact investors� to come forward with their bids to make meaningful investments in the State�s tea sector. The areas they identified for the purpose are � improving the quality of life of millions of people dependent on the tea sector of the State and also in conserving the environment in this part of the globe.
In the document �Glorious Assam Tea Industry and Investment Opportunities,� jointly prepared by them, the Tea Board and the Directorate of Tea have said the investment opportunities in the State�s tea sector also include � packaging and value addition, creation of infrastructure facilities, crop diversification and food processing, tea tourism and wellness.
Besides, the document also named budget retail chains by opening shops in the towns of the tea producing districts of Assam as a prospect, stating, if needed, the prospects of joint ventures with tea estates could be explored for the purpose. Product diversification, setting up private banks or providing internet services in the tea-growing areas have also been named as the other opportunities.
It said a strategy needs to be formulated by the Government, in partnership with the industry, to promote investment for the tea sector. In this era of global cooperation, it is important that all stakeholders work in partnership to ensure creation of wealth for the State, said the Board and the Directorate in the document.
The tea sector-related investment opportunities in value addition, packaging, crop diversification, tea and golf tourism, budget retail chains need evaluation, they further said.
Giving details of the infrastructural support the State has for the promotion of the tea sector, in the document they referred to the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre (GTAC), the proposed Rs 120-crore tea park at Chaygaon, Tocklai Tea Research Institute, Jorhat and its research in value added tea and tea by-products, among others.
Commenting on the industrial infrastructure of the State, the document said the State has 64 commercial estates for the micro units and 50 industrial estates/ areas spread across all its districts. Moreover, it has three industrial growth centres (located at Balipara, Matia and Chaygaon-Patgaon-Jambari). It also has nine integrated infrastructure development centres and additional two such centres are under-construction, while two more projects on similar lines have been approved by the Union Government under Micro & Small Enterprises - Cluster Development Programme (MSE-CDP) scheme.
While a software technology park is under operation adjacent to the LGB International Airport in the city, another such park is under construction at Azara in Kamrup (M) district. A bio-technology park is operating from the campus of the IIT Guwahati and an export promotion industrial park is already there at Amingaon.
The State has a North East Mega Food Park at Tihu, a food processing park at Chaygaon and an under-construction bamboo park also at Chaygaon.
On top of all these, the State has proposed to set up a tea park at Chaygaon to provide adequate facilities for blending, storage and transshipment of Assam Tea to the world market, said the Tea Board and the Tea Directorate in the document.