Small tea growers seek ample funds for development schemes

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on June 19, 2014 Published on June 19, 2014

The Confederation of Indian Small Tea Growers Association (Cista) has urged Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to allocate adequate funds in the Budget specifically for the Small Tea Growers Directorate under Tea Board. It has also urged him to roll out small tea growers’ development scheme.

In a pre-Budget memorandum, Cista said that the Small Growers’ Directorate - constituted on the lines of ones in Kenya and Sri Lanka - will ensure better execution and monitoring of various tea production and promotional schemes. It will also help initiate a pilot programme to develop an alternative market for small tea growers.

This, in turn, will help small tea growers produce better quality green tea leaves and ultimately upgrade themselves from mere green leaf producers to made-tea producers. However, all these objectives can only be achieved if adequate fund is made available, a release from the confederation said.

The memorandum also emphasised the need for introducing plantation credit cards for small tea growers which will help them in getting loans from banks and subsidies from Tea Board.

It also sought announcement of subsidised fertiliser quotas for small tea growers in view of rising urea and potash prices; introducing green tea leaves under the crop insurance scheme of Agriculture Insurance Company of India Limited and exemption of excise duty on micro and mini tea processing machineries.

Published on June 19, 2014
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