Agri Business

Plantation sector urged to think out of the box

Our Bureau Coimbatore | Updated on October 20, 2019

Ex-Tea Board official calls for personalising blends, customisation to boost sector

“Use technology and create a model to personalise tea. The possibilities are enormous. Think out of the box,” said Vikram Kapur, Additional Chief Secretary to TN Government and Chairman and Managing Director, Tamilnadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco), at the 66th Annual Conference of the Planters’ Association of Tamilnadu (PAT) here on Saturday.

Kapur, who had held the office as executive director, Tea Board, Coonoor, almost 15 years ago, conceded that he was revisiting the industry that seemed to be perpetually in crisis. “The sector is nobody’s baby, has no champion, is languishing, but I feel the time has come to aggressively push the plantation industry.” “This industry obviously did not have the right communication system, but with the burgeoning domestic market, the potential is huge; be prepared for challenges as technology is disrupting every existing business model. Perhaps the next stage for the industry is to look at disruptive changes to grow the business,” he observed, hinting the need for personalising blends, at customisation and more.

AL RM Nagappan, President, UPASI, said structural infirmities in production, processing, marketing and trade undermined the sector’s competitiveness. While in the past, we stood as a united force to address the challenges and moved on, recent issues such as climate change and cost competitiveness among others have started to impact the industry.

Voicing anxiety over what the new Industrial Policy ( currently under formulation) would entail for the plantation industry in the State, Shaker Nagarajan, Chairman, PAT, said “unless some structural changes are made in the Land Reforms Act so as to permit plantations to venture into eco-tourism, allowing a portion of the plantation land for cultivation of non-plantation crops to serve as an economic cushion during periods of adversities, the survival of the industry would be at stake.

Published on October 20, 2019

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