Kailashahar (Tripura): The government would soon constitute a separate directorate under the Tea Board to boost tea production by small growers in India, Confederation of Indian Small Tea Growers Associations (CISTA) president Bijoy Gopal Chakraborty said here Thursday.
“Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma recently told a delegation of CISTA that the proposed separate directorate under the Tea Board would not only boost the production, it would also help increase tea exports by India,” Chakraborty told a gathering at an official function on the occasion of International Tea Day here.
Over 800 delegates representing trade unions, tea workers, small tea growers and activists from 14 tea growing states participated in the seventh International Tea Day at Kailashahar in northern Tripura, 165 km north of Agartala. CISTA, the only national body of small tea growers, has organised various programmes on the occasion.
The first International Tea Day was held in New Delhi in 2005 with the participation of small tea growers and tea workers from Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Vietnam, Uganda, Kenya, Malaysia, Tanzania, Zambia and Indonesia. India accounts for 30 percent of global tea production.
Chakraborty said: “The number of small tea growers in the country would be around 2.5 lakh, producing 257 million kg of tea anually, accounting for more than 27 percent of the country’s total tea production.”
According to Chakraborty, the concentration of small tea growers is largest in Assam, followed by West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Bihar.