GUWAHATI, Feb 25 � The Confederation of Indian Small Tea Growers� Associations (CISTA) will meet the Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce tomorrow in Guwahati where a host of issues pertaining to small tea growers will be discussed.
Senior officials of Tea Board of India will also take part in the interaction to be held at Hotel Nakshatra.
For the better functioning of STG directorate, CISTA will place a demand for an exclusive research wing to conduct research and field trials on STG ecosystems.
The association will also seek Government support in setting up an exclusive marketing
federation and development of a separate brand for the STGs in India.
Issues like micro planning exercise and putting in place a proper monitoring system and imparting training to STGs coinciding with crop cycle will also be discussed in the meeting.
�As there is no separate extension mechanism for STGs, they suffer from knowledge shortage. During emergencies (any insect or disease outbreak), it is extremely difficult to manage the situation and it leads to huge loss. So, we request to set-up planned extension service that any STG can access at affordable price. The concept of Cha Call Centre (CCC) can be explored,� a CISTA press statement said.
CISTA is also rooting for TBI field offices in Kokrajhar (Assam), Islampur (West Bengal), Waynad (Kerala) and Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh) so that the growers of the areas can access different services offered by the Board.
Besides, issues concerning the implementation of different STG schemes, enforcement of price-sharing formula, plantation credit card, plantation insurance, special drive for processing units by STGs, supply of subsidized fertilizers and welfare schemes for STG workers will also feature in tomorrow�s discussion.
CISTA, the only national platform of small tea growers, consists of state level associations from ten tea growing states, including the All Assam Small Tea Growers� Association, Assam, Federation of Small Tea Growers� Associations, Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, All Kerala Small Tea Growers� Association, Kerala, United Forum of Small Tea Growers� Association, West Bengal, All Tripura Small Tea Growers� Association, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh Small Tea Growers� Association, Arunachal Pradesh, All Mizoram Small Tea Growers� Association, Mizoram and Meghalaya Small Tea Growers� Association, Meghalaya and Kangra Valley Small Tea Planters� Association, Himachal Pradesh and North Bihar Small Tea Growers� Association, Bihar.
Besides these, the All Bodoland Small Tea Growers� Association is also affiliated to CISTA.