TEZPUR, April 22 - The ongoing lockdown has severely affected the small tea growers in Sonitpur district. The growers are likely to incur a huge loss this season. The tea season generally begins from April and it continues till December. However, due to the ongoing lockdown, the farmers have not been able to harvest their crops, and as a result of which they (farmers) have been forced to chop off the tea leaves.
Presenting a gloomy picture in this regard, Bhaben Nath, a progressive tea farmer of Monai Jaisiddhi, informed that over 2,000 small tea growers in Sonitpur district covering from Mazabat to Diplunga (Gohpur) area, are heading for an uncertain future as they have not been able to pluck tea leaves. Nath, who is also a member of Diplunga Small Tea Growers� group, also mentioned that in Monai Jaisiddhi around 200 farmers have been affected. �We will be facing more serious problems, if lockdown is not withdrawn,� he said, adding that the big companies, who purchase green leaves from the small tea growers are not willing to buy leaves from the small farmers as they are now focusing on their production.
In this context, he informed that the small tea growers of the Sonitpur district have been contributing a huge chunk of revenue to the Government exchequer. �Given the current situation, the small growers will not be able to contribute revenue this season,� he opined. According to a report, there are over 40,000 small tea growers in the State.