GUWAHATI, Dec 21 - Of the country�s total made tea in 2016-17, 46 per cent is produced from green leaves supplied by small tea growers. The small tea growers of the country are now inching towards attaining the 50 per cent mark in this respect, said sources in the Tea Board.
Sources said the small tea growers sector now occupies a very important place in the tea industry of the country.
Meanwhile, the latest meeting of the Tea Board has decided to expand the Advisory Committee on Small Tea Growers. Accordingly, the subcommittee will now comprise Bidyananda Barkakoty as chairman of the Advisory Committee and Dilip Moran, Diki Tashi Wangchuk, Binod Hazarika and B Kumaran as members and Bijoy Gopal Chakraborty as invitee. Further, an office-bearer of the All Assam Small Tea Growers Association is also to be included as an invitee of the Advisory Committee, as per the resolution of the board meeting.
It is worth mentioning here that of the total 1250.49 million kg of made tea produced by the country in 2016-17, 575.22 million kg were produced from green leaves supplied by the small tea growers sector.
In case of Assam, the small tea growers supplied green leaves for manufacturing 264.25 million kg in 2016-17, which was 40.21 per cent of the total 657.24 million kg of made tea produced by the State that year.
In case of West Bengal, 180.09 million kg of made tea were produced from green tea leaves produced by the small tea growers in 2016-17. This was 50.39 per cent of the total 357.39 million kg of made tea produced by the neighbouring state that year. This indicates that the small tea growers sector has already outdone the organised sector in West Bengal in the matter of production.
It needs mention here that Tripura produced 9.46 million kg of made tea last year (2016-17), while Arunachal Pradesh produced 12.14 million kg, Meghalaya 0.52 million kg, Nagaland 0.81 million kg, Himachal Pradesh 0.76 million kg, Uttarakhand 0.01 million kg, Bihar 4.78 million kg, Tamil Nadu 143.67 million kg, Kerala 58.61 million kg and Karnataka produced 5.10 million kg during the last year, sources said.