The portal. Telegraph picture
Jorhat, Jan. 21: A few like-minded experts on tea in Assam have joined hands to launch a website to provide a platform where the buyers would be able to buy specialised and top quality teas from remotely located small growers so that these planters get their due share for the blood and sweat they have invested.
"The site, we believe, would take care of the publicity and marketing needs of the products of small tea growers and provide a reliable channel for sales," Sailen Kakati, editor of the website myassamtea.com, told The Telegraph today.
There are 68,465 small tea gardens in Assam according to government records but in reality, the figure could be twice. Small tea gardens cover an area of around 1,170 square km, approximately one-third of the total area under tea cultivation in the state.
However, lack of proper marketing and advertisement is a hurdle for these small tea growers, especially those involved in the hand-made organic variety, to sell their products at a reasonable price.
"We salute the new generation of young tea growers who are greatly contributing to the economy of the region and providing direct or indirect livelihood to a whopping 2 million people. Myassamtea.com will provide a platform where the buyers would be able to buy best quality tea at the best price from these small tea growers, especially the hand-made varieties," Kakati said.
Apart from Kakati, the other experts involved in the launch of the website are Pradip Baruah, one of the leading tea experts in the state and senior advisory officer at Tocklai Tea Research Institute, Atul Chandra Sarma from Assam Agricultural University, who had served at Tocklai earlier and Partha Sarathi Dowerah, a tea garden executive with vast knowledge of tea. He served in top tea companies in the world and started his career at Monabarie, the largest tea estate in the world, in 1975.
Apart from being a platform for small tea growers, the website also has details about the history, varieties, various techniques used in making teas, health benefits, selected tea quotes, articles on tea, et al.
"Five thousand years since it was discovered in China, tea has now become the second most popular drink in the world. With adoption of modern techniques, both quality and quantity of tea production has improved. With increasing number of tea growers producing various types of handmade specialty teas, options before tea lovers are now very broad. So it is not a bad idea to keep your tea funda (sic) updated..." the website says on its homepage.
Kakati said it was always a dream to do something for the tea industry and myassamtea.com is a way to give shape to this dream. "Our mission would be to tap the knowledge and expertise of the tea experts available in this large tea-growing area for the benefit of all stakeholders of the tea industry," he said.