Agri Business

Nabard helps Indco tea factories modernise at ₹18.54 crore

P S SUNDAR Coonoor | Updated on February 16, 2021

Tea factories in the co-operative sector in The Nilgiris, called Indco tea factories, are going in for massive modernisation balancing technology with the tradition of eco-friendly manufacture, with the support of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).

“NABARD will assist five Indco factories for modernisation at an outlay of ₹ 18.54 crore”, said NABARD Chairman G R Chintala.

He inaugurated the Eco-restoration project at the Indco factory in Kattabettu village near Coonoor.

Chintala said that since the project commenced in September, the eco-system around Kattabettu has undergone mentionable improvements.

While Kattabettu factory is the first of the 16 factories under this project, eco-restoration work is under progress in Mahalinga Indco factory as well, said Supriya Sahu, Principal Secretary to Tamil Nadu, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Indcoserve (the apex body of Indco factories).

Kattabettu factory’s eco-restoration was a joint venture of Indcoserve and an NGO, Keystone Foundation.

Supriya Sahu said that Indcoserve will become a leader in promoting environment-sustainable manufacturing of tea. This is significant because more than 200 tea factories function in the Nilgiris Biosphere which spreads across 5,200 square kilometres enriched with unique flora and fauna in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. Consequently, these tea factories bear responsibility to protect this biodiversity by adopting eco-sustainable manufacturing practices, she emphasised.

Disclosing that invasive plants in the locality were removed and that shola trees planted as part of this project, she said that a Wetlands Park and an Information Centre have been established to strengthen awareness creation for the benefit of the public at large

“As for modernisation, Kattabettu tea factory has been renovated to manufacture high quality teas, including speciality teas, to provide a national and international platform to the tea small farmers. This includes a state-of-the-art tea tasting room and conference facility to enable buyers sample the teas in the premises itself,” Supriya Sahu said.

The Nilgiris district Collector Innocent Divya said that tea factories should focus on preserving ecology and helping farmers get better prices. Coonoor MLA Shanthi Ramu urged Indcoserve to modernise all the 16 factories.

Chintala also inaugurated at Kattabettu “Indco’s Tea House”, a cafeteria serving teas of Indco factories. This is the second such outlet, the first being the one in Coonoor inaugurated in November 2020.

Indcoserve Chairman Sivakumar and Kattabettu Indco Factory Chairperson Sumathi were present.

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Published on February 16, 2021
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