Tea Board moots national fund for climate adaptation

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on December 10, 2019 Published on December 10, 2019

File photo of a frost-affected tea estate i n Munnar. Kerala’s tea industry has been exposed to extreme weather conditions in the past 3-4 years   -  The Hindu

Sustainable scheme for 5 States on anvil

The Tea Board of India has taken seriously the issues connected with climate change on tea production in South India, which reported a 10 per cent dip in output.

To address the issues by building climate resilience in the tea value chain, the Board is developing a sectoral proposal for the National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC) with the support of Global Green Growth Institute in partnership with the European Union and the German Development Agency.

Climate resilience

The NAFCC supports concrete adaptation activities aimed at building climate resilience. Nabard is the national implementing agency for NAFCC. The proposed project will involve implementation of climate adaptation measures across the five tea growing States of Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Himachal Pradesh to develop climate resilience and ensure long-term sustainability of the tea sector, said M Balaji, Executive Director, Tea Board of India.

The Board has conducted consultation with stakeholders in Tamil Nadu and Kerala to discuss specific climate challenges faced in the tea growing regions and on the potential adaptation options.

Hailing the Tea Board initiative for devising schemes to make the Indian tea industry climate-resilient, the Association of Planters of Kerala emphasised that the schemes should address the concerns of all stakeholders, irrespective of the size of the land holding.

Extreme weather

Kerala’s tea industry has been exposed to extreme weather conditions in the past 3-4 years, which resulted in crop loss, low productivity and higher incidences of pest and diseases.

Kerala has become the highest cost producer of tea.

With high cost of production and low price realisation, the tea industry has become economically unviable and may render tens of thousands of workers unemployed, said Ajith BK, Secretary, APK.

The major stakeholders who participated in the meeting are Small Tea Growers Associations, Upasi, NGOs, Agricultural University Researchers, ICAR, Nabard and the state government departments. The representatives of supporting international agencies were also present.

Published on December 10, 2019
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