Agri Business

Tea Board disburses ₹3.35 crore to growers to help during lockdown

PS Sundar Coonoor | Updated on April 20, 2020

Tea Board has stepped in to help the small growers who are without income since the lockdown commenced following the nation’s fight against Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have credited to the bank accounts of 1,374 small and marginal farmers in South India sums totalling ₹3.35 crore as subsidies under various schemes,” Tea Board Executive Director M Balaji said in Coonoor.

“This is in addition to the ₹4.46 crore disbursed to 1,344 beneficiaries on March 6,” he said.

“Of the ₹3.35 crore now disbursed, ₹1.58 crore was given to 716 small growers for replanting and rejuvenation pruning,” he disclosed.

Under Human Development Resource Scheme, a sum of ₹92.10 lakh was given to 449 wards of tea plantation workers. Nine tea estates were given subsidies totalling ₹40.38 lakh for purchase of pruning and harvesting machines.

Subsidies totalling ₹34.98 lakh were disbursed to 162 beneficiaries under the Schedule Caste Sub Plan (SCSP) component.

Subsidies totalling ₹8.92 lakh were disbursed to eight beneficiaries who are directly connected with tea-related activities.

Balaji also said that in addition to these, before the lockdown, training classes had been conducted to scheduled caste youths on computer application, maintenance of tea gardens as also tea tasting to create employment opportunities to them.

Meanwhile, the Nilgiris-headquartered Federation of Tamil Nadu Crop Growers’ Association has appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to order the waiver of crop loans.

The Federation’s President Manjai Mohan, who is also a small tea grower in The Nilgiris, said, “The farmers could not harvest their produce and sell them due to the absence of supply chain following the lockdown”.

“For over a month, farmers are in great difficulty as they have lost their entire crop”, he said.

“Meanwhile, they are unable to repay their debts or interest on them. Farmers, including growers, have borrowed from banks and other financial institutions for their agriculture and allied activities,” he pointed out.

“So, we have appealed to the Prime Minister to order to waive all outstanding crop loans and the interest thereon,” he disclosed.

Published on April 20, 2020

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