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Lack of transparency causing discontent

By Ajit Patowary

GUWAHATI, Nov 3 � The present discontent among the small tea growers and tea factory owners on the price of green tea leaves is the result of lack of transparency in matters of actual price of made tea and lack of a monitoring mechanism to ascertain the quantity and quality of green leaves and made tea. This is the observation made by G Boriah, Director, Tea Development, Tea Board of India while talking to The Assam Tribune here today.

The Tea Board is putting in place an effective �reach out� system within the next six to eight months to bring the situation under control, he said laying stress on the need to organise the growers from the grass root level.

Moreover, since the small tea growers of the State are highly unorganized, this too is fuelling the present crisis, as the growers lack the bargaining power, said the Tea Board Director.

The price sharing formula with which the small tea growers were sought to be provided just price for their produces, was copied from Sri Lanka. This formula is successful in the neighbouring country, as all the teas produced there are sold through the Colombo Tea Auction Centre.

There, each of the tea inspectors is assigned with 25 factories. They inspect the quantity and quality of green tea leaves bought by the factories, the ultimate size of their made tea and monitor the prices realized by the factories. Thus, the growers come to know the actual price earned by the factories there, Boriah said.

In India, generally green tea leaves are not directly sold by the producers to the factories. Moreover, not all the tea factories go to the auction centres to sell their products.

All these have made the entire process obscure. Realising this, the Tea Board has decided to set up a small tea growers� development cell under its Development Director and has sanctioned 95 posts.

Of these posts, 82 are technical posts. 22 of them are meant for engineers, designated as factory advisors. Each of them will be in-charge of 25 factories.

The rest 60 of these 82 posts will be earmarked for the agricultural and science graduates, who will work with the growers in the field.

These people will encourage formation of small tea growers� self-help groups, which will be linked with the factories to make the entire process transparent.

The 60 field officers being engaged are expected to cover around 1.6 lakh small tea growers, each covering around 2,000 to 3,000 of the growers, Boriah said.

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— Dalai Lama(THIS IS STATIC)

Lack of transparency causing discontent

GUWAHATI, Nov 3 � The present discontent among the small tea growers and tea factory owners on the price of green tea leaves is the result of lack of transparency in matters of actual price of made tea and lack of a monitoring mechanism to ascertain the quantity and quality of green leaves and made tea. This is the observation made by G Boriah, Director, Tea Development, Tea Board of India while talking to The Assam Tribune here today.

The Tea Board is putting in place an effective �reach out� system within the next six to eight months to bring the situation under control, he said laying stress on the need to organise the growers from the grass root level.

Moreover, since the small tea growers of the State are highly unorganized, this too is fuelling the present crisis, as the growers lack the bargaining power, said the Tea Board Director.

The price sharing formula with which the small tea growers were sought to be provided just price for their produces, was copied from Sri Lanka. This formula is successful in the neighbouring country, as all the teas produced there are sold through the Colombo Tea Auction Centre.

There, each of the tea inspectors is assigned with 25 factories. They inspect the quantity and quality of green tea leaves bought by the factories, the ultimate size of their made tea and monitor the prices realized by the factories. Thus, the growers come to know the actual price earned by the factories there, Boriah said.

In India, generally green tea leaves are not directly sold by the producers to the factories. Moreover, not all the tea factories go to the auction centres to sell their products.

All these have made the entire process obscure. Realising this, the Tea Board has decided to set up a small tea growers� development cell under its Development Director and has sanctioned 95 posts.

Of these posts, 82 are technical posts. 22 of them are meant for engineers, designated as factory advisors. Each of them will be in-charge of 25 factories.

The rest 60 of these 82 posts will be earmarked for the agricultural and science graduates, who will work with the growers in the field.

These people will encourage formation of small tea growers� self-help groups, which will be linked with the factories to make the entire process transparent.

The 60 field officers being engaged are expected to cover around 1.6 lakh small tea growers, each covering around 2,000 to 3,000 of the growers, Boriah said.

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— Dalai Lama(THIS IS STATIC)