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Planters happy with Rs 400 crore benefit scheme

Planters happy with Rs 400 crore benefit scheme

Tue May 15 2018


Making tea planters cheerful, Government of India has approved Indian tea Board’s (ITB) proposed “Development and promotion” scheme with a planed outlay of around Rs 400 crore. The scheme that includes organized as well as small growers both, will remain effective till the end of 2019-20 FY.


The Rs 394.95 crore scheme has seven major components. These are Plantation Development, Quality Upgradation and Product Diversification, Market Promotion, Research and Development, Human Resource Development, National Program for Tea Regulation and Establishment Expenses. Eligible plantations will be provided subsidy, incentives or grants for their various activities in these component sectors.


According to S. Soundararajan, Director of Tea Development, ITB, objective of the ‘Development’ component is to increase field productivity and quality of tea by encouraging replantation, replacement planting, rejuvenation pruning, irrigation, mechanization. It is also aimed towards development of small tea growers to help them move up the value chain.


Special Packages for North East, Idukki district of Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand have been devised for taking care of the special needs of these regions.


‘Promotion’ component of the scheme is targeted towards better showcasing of India’s diversified portfolio of single-origin teas. These include Darjeeling, Assam, Assam Orthodox, Nilgiri, Nilgiri Orthodox, Dooars-Terai, each one with distinctive aroma & flavour attributable to its geographical origin.


To become eligible for benefits under the scheme, a set garden must be registered with the Tea Board. Applicant small growers and their self-help groups should have identity issued by ITB and proper documents pertaining to their plantation land.


However, the scheme outline also hosts stringent checkpoints too. For example, any plantation having over Rs 10,000 provident fund over dues will be barred.


“We appreciate the development as small tea growers, producing 47% of national tea production, will be major beneficiary of the scheme,” said Bijoy Gopal Chakroborty President of CISTA.


Organized gardens also welcomed the scheme. “We have been asking for this since long. I am happy that finally it has come in effect,” said K. K. Mintri, Chairman, Terai Indian Planters Association.



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