Agri Business

‘Tea sector lacking skilled technical, management manpower’

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Dec 07, 2021
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Amalgamated Plantations urges Centre, Tea Board, institutes and other stakeholders to address the issue

The tea sector is facing crisis in terms of lack of competent technical and management manpower, effect of natural adversities and dearth of innovative practices required, said Vikram Singh Gulia, Managing Director and CEO of Amalgamated Plantations Pvt Ltd (Tata Group).

Addressing the 29th Foundation Day and 19th Convocation of the Indian Institute of Plantation Management-Bengaluru (IIPM-B) recently, Gulia opined that students and faculty members of National Institutes like IIPM-B can play a stellar role in reinventing the scenario through engaged participation and such entrepreneurial initiatives as creating and managing farmer collectives, intelligent procurement, and technology-driven enterprises.

Dwelling on the structural transformation that has taken place in the industry, Gulia said that the emergence of GoI-supported small tea growers (STGs) in the late 1990s had changed the entire tea estate landscape, previously owned by overseas businesses and managed by corporate professional agencies. He called for a joint effort from Tea Board, government agencies, STGs, institutes like IIPM-B and other stakeholders towards this initiative.

Career in plantations

Addressing the graduating student aspirants for a career in plantation sector, Gulia highlighted the importance of such qualities as leadership, empathy, equity, and integrity, in addition to out-of-the-box thinking and inclination towards smart technologies.

In his presidential address, MP Cherian, President, UPASI, said the agriculture sector was vulnerable to climatic change, and a joint effort by the industry, institutes like IIPM-B, and the new agri-management recruits have an opportunity to mitigate its effects.

IIPM-B is an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

New courses

The UPASI President proposed inclusion of precision plantation techniques that use satellite-based technology innovations and remote sensing, in the syllabi to help the industry optimise productivity and profits. Cherian urged the students to be prepared to lead the change and exploit the technology that already exists, and to choose a career that offered not only professional growth but personal growth and satisfaction as well.

VG Dhanakumar, Director, IIPM-B, said more than 47,000 stakeholders have benefited from IIPM-B’s value-added capacity building programmes over the past 29 years. He also stated that IIPM-B is planning to commence a first-of-its-kind PGDM programme in Animal Husbandry, Livestock, Poultry & Fisheries Management, and a four-year undergraduate programme in Agriculture & Business Management.

Published on December 07, 2021

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