Agri Business

Tea Board working on modalities for specialty sales

PS SUNDAR Coonoor | Updated on January 22, 2018

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The Tea Board is working on the modalities to revive its support to the Nilgiri winter specialty tea auctions of Nilgiri Planters’ Association (NPA).

Fiscal support

“These speciality tea auctions had fetched high prices for quality tea and created favourable image for Nilgiri teas. The Board had extended fiscal support for the conduct of these auctions in the past. Last two years, these auctions were not held for want of fiscal support. The Board is interested in promoting such high quality teas. We are working on reviving our fiscal support,” Tea Board Executive Director C Paulrasu told BusinessLine.

“We have appealed for the revival of the speciality auctions and are waiting for Tea Board’s concurrence. These auctions had helped Nilgiri specialty tea producers fetch over ₹10,000 a kg”, NPA’s immediate past Chairman KC Ponnappa said.

Replanting subsidy

Meanwhile, Paulrasu used the 124th AGM of NPA to ask planters to increasingly utilise the funds available under various schemes of 12th Plan to improve their field and factories.

“Nearly 37 per cent of the Indian tea bushes are now older than 50 years while in most countries, the fields are filled with young, productive plants. To gain global competitiveness, I urge planters to replace old bushes with new plants for which the Board gives replantation subsidy of ₹80,000 per hectare. We have also been assured by Nilgiris district administration that planters will be allowed to use earthmovers for this purpose on a case-by-case basis,” he said.

“After we introduced the Plant Protection Code, overseas buyers are showing greater interest to import Indian tea. We need to maintain high quality standards. The Board is implementing stricter quality norms to ensure that,” Paulrasu noted.

Exports, GI tag

On export front, Ponnappa said that Tea Board has confirmed that Nilgiri Orthodox Logo is registered both as Certification Trade Mark and Geographical Indication (GI). “I have urged our members to get required licence from Tea Board and get registered as authorised users to help Nilgiri origin teas receive enhanced marketability. We have appealed to Tea Board to aggressively promote Orthodox GI,” he said.

Till August, tea production of NPA members has risen to 10.75 million kg (mkg) from 10.09 mkg last year.

Published on October 06, 2015

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