Agri Business

Small tea growers body urges govt to come up with a policy to ensure fair pricing mechanism

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on November 23, 2021

CISTA has also urged the government to give Small tea growers the “farmer” status

The Confederation of Indian Small Tea Growers Association (CISTA) has urged the Union Ministry for Commerce and Industry to come up with a policy for ensuring fair and remunerative pricing of green tea leaf taking into account the cost of production forgrowers.

In a representation submitted to Commerce and Industry Minister, Piyush Goyal, the association has called for setting the price of green tea leaf at around ₹30 a kg. Currently small tea growers (STGs) get around ₹17-18 a kg for green tea leaf produced depending on the region and quality of crop.

Also read: Tea Board fixes year’s lowest price for green leaf in November

“Due to high input costs including workers wage, the cost of production of green tea leaf increased to ₹18-22 a kg region wise. However, there has not been much change in price of green tea leaf in the last ten years. STGs are badly hit due to poor price realisation,” CISTA said in a letter submitted to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Demand for dedicated fund

The Association has also requested the Ministry to create a dedicated fund for STGs for field-based trainings and climate smart cultivation to enhance productivity and quality. Tea Research Association should be inducted as nodal agency for training purpose.

Some of the STGs in north-east regions including Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya are producing exotic high value organic teas, which have export potential. However, due to lack of proper branding and marketing these teas suffer.

“We request you to take special initiative and create a drive for promoting, branding and marketing of these teas in both domestic and export market,” CISTA said.

‘Farmer’ status

CISTA has also urged the government to give STGs the “farmer” status so as to ensure that they can also get the benefits of farmer welfare schemes such as loan at lower interest rates and crop insurance among others, STGs who are into cultivation and selling of green tea leaf do not get these benefits as tea falls under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

“ We urge the government to take initiative so that STGs can get farmer status and enjoy farmer welfare schemes,” the letter said.

Published on November 23, 2021

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