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Small tea growers plea to fix minimum price

By AJIT PATOWARY
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GUWAHATI, Sept 19 - The All Assam Small Tea Growers� Association (AASTGA) has made an appeal to all concerned to fix the minimum price of green tea leaf in a redeeming manner so as to save the small tea growing sector and the tea industry as a whole.

AASTGA general secretary Karuna Mahanta while talking to this newspaper, said that such a decision on the part of the government, Tea Board of India and the other stakeholders of the industry has long been awaited and considering the urgency of the matter, they should all come up with a positive decision on the issue expeditiously.

As of now, small tea growers make a contribution of 50 per cent to the total green tea leaf produced in the State. The small growing sector is providing direct and indirect employment to over 15 lakh people and is making a significant contribution to the State�s economy.

But, Mahanta said the small tea growers of the State are deprived of the due price for their produces. Most of the estate factories owned by the big tea companies and the bought tea leaf factories have been denying the small tea growers their dues. Particularly in the months of September and October, these factories deliberately lower the prices of green tea leaves. This current month, the prices of green tea leaf have come down to Rs 8 per kg at places. This practice has also an adverse impact on the quality of Assam Tea in the long run.

It needs mention here that the unscrupulous tea companies and bought tea leaf factory owners take advantage of the fact that the small tea growers do not have their own factories, Mahanta said.

He reiterated the AAGSTA demand that the interested small tea growers should be granted licence to set up their own tea factories. This will also have a positive impact on the quality of Assam Tea. The State Government should take positive steps to impress upon the Tea Board of India to do the needful expeditiously in this connection, he said.

In this respect, he said he had placed the demand to fix Rs 30 as the minimum price for a kg of green tea leaf while speaking at a meeting held by the State Industries Minister with the tea industry stakeholders on August 21, 2019 at the Khanapara Staff Training College here. Such a price is needed for the survival of the small tea growing sector, Mahanta argued.

He expressed the hope that the meeting proposed by the State Government with the tea industry stakeholders tomorrow would be able to arrive at a redeeming decision on the matter.

He made an appeal to all concerned to create an atmosphere for producing quality green tea leaves by providing the required support to the small tea growers in the form of paying their dues properly. The price offered to the small tea growers right at this moment for their produces is not even covering their production cost, he said.

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Small tea growers plea to fix minimum price

GUWAHATI, Sept 19 - The All Assam Small Tea Growers� Association (AASTGA) has made an appeal to all concerned to fix the minimum price of green tea leaf in a redeeming manner so as to save the small tea growing sector and the tea industry as a whole.

AASTGA general secretary Karuna Mahanta while talking to this newspaper, said that such a decision on the part of the government, Tea Board of India and the other stakeholders of the industry has long been awaited and considering the urgency of the matter, they should all come up with a positive decision on the issue expeditiously.

As of now, small tea growers make a contribution of 50 per cent to the total green tea leaf produced in the State. The small growing sector is providing direct and indirect employment to over 15 lakh people and is making a significant contribution to the State�s economy.

But, Mahanta said the small tea growers of the State are deprived of the due price for their produces. Most of the estate factories owned by the big tea companies and the bought tea leaf factories have been denying the small tea growers their dues. Particularly in the months of September and October, these factories deliberately lower the prices of green tea leaves. This current month, the prices of green tea leaf have come down to Rs 8 per kg at places. This practice has also an adverse impact on the quality of Assam Tea in the long run.

It needs mention here that the unscrupulous tea companies and bought tea leaf factory owners take advantage of the fact that the small tea growers do not have their own factories, Mahanta said.

He reiterated the AAGSTA demand that the interested small tea growers should be granted licence to set up their own tea factories. This will also have a positive impact on the quality of Assam Tea. The State Government should take positive steps to impress upon the Tea Board of India to do the needful expeditiously in this connection, he said.

In this respect, he said he had placed the demand to fix Rs 30 as the minimum price for a kg of green tea leaf while speaking at a meeting held by the State Industries Minister with the tea industry stakeholders on August 21, 2019 at the Khanapara Staff Training College here. Such a price is needed for the survival of the small tea growing sector, Mahanta argued.

He expressed the hope that the meeting proposed by the State Government with the tea industry stakeholders tomorrow would be able to arrive at a redeeming decision on the matter.

He made an appeal to all concerned to create an atmosphere for producing quality green tea leaves by providing the required support to the small tea growers in the form of paying their dues properly. The price offered to the small tea growers right at this moment for their produces is not even covering their production cost, he said.