Assam: Small Tea Growers Demand MSP for Green Leaves

Small tea growers of Assam have urged the state government to fix a minimum support price for their produce as the low price realization has been a longstanding issue for them, a statement said.

According to the statement, the small tea growers of Assam sell their crops to bought leaf factories (BLFs).

During an interaction with Industry and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary on Thursday, representatives of small tea growers’ associations of the state raised the issue of low price realization and sought the MSP for their produce in the peak and lean seasons reported PTI.

They requested the state government to fix a fair price or minimum rate of their tea leaves, the report stated.

The issue of overpriced manure and challenges of the small tea growers of Assam were raised in the meeting, the statement said on Friday.

There will be no compromise on the quality of tea leaves and fair price, the minister said, adding that their grievances will be addressed.

The statement further reads that the minister will hold a meeting very soon with all the deputy commissioners of districts to monitor that BLFs buy only quality tea leaves and ensure a fair price for the small growers.

Patowary asked Tea Board India’s executive director (north-east zone) Arunita Phukan Yadav to instruct all its development officers to visit the BLFs and monitor strict compliance with the quality of tea leaves.

The minister also urged small tea growers to ensure the quality of their produce and encouraged them to opt for orthodox variety that can help fetch remunerative prices in the international markets.

He also advised them to set up bought leaf factories through self-help groups.

Around 2 lakh small tea growers in Assam contribute nearly 50 percent of the state’s annual production.

Of the 618.20 million kg of tea produced in the state in 2020, small tea growers’ share was 285.19 million kg.

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