Barak tea losing viability: Panel

The Tea Association of India said gardens in the Barak Valley were "losing their viability".

By OUR CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 14.10.17
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A tea garden in Barak Valley

Hailakandi, Oct. 13: The Tea Association of India said gardens in the Barak Valley were "losing their viability".

The Barak Valley branch of the Tea Association of India has sought remedial measures from the Assam government for their revival in a memorandum to chief minister Sarbandanda Sonowal.

A team of the association, led by its chairman P.K. Misra and secretary Sorodindu Bhattacharjee, met Sonowal yesterday in Silchar and handed over the memorandum

The Barak Valley tea industry produces approximately 50 million kg annually.

Altogether 36,253 hectares of land are covered by 110 tea gardens in the valley.

Misra said there are various reasons for the dismal situation of the Barak Valley tea gardens, which includes poor infrastructure, irregular power supply, low yield per hectare in comparison to other tea-growing areas of the state, poor labour productivity and labour absenteeism.

The dismal road condition and communication bottleneck was responsible for the delay in reaching output to the auction centre and markets, the memorandum said.

The memorandum demanded the setting up of a tea auction centre for Barak Valley in Silchar.

The Tea Association of India expressed concern over the price realisation of Barak Valley tea at Guwahati Tea Auction Centre and said it was Rs 108 only in 2016.

Misra said the Tea Association of India had appealed to the chief minister several times to redress the issues.

The association demanded revision of land revenue at a rate similar to other agricultural lands.