OOTY: While the union budget is on the anvil, the small tea growers (STG) in the hills have urged the Centre to take a decision to fix minimum support price (MSP) for the green tea leaf (GTL). The STG also wanted setting up of a tea exhibition centre in Ooty.
Stating that STG, who constitute for the bulk of the farming community in the hills had been suffering for many years with fluctuations in the tea price has badly affected their family economy, Mr.Manjai
V. Mohan, the president of the Nilgiris Tea Cultivators Associations Federation said that it was high time the Centre take a look at this issue seriously, to help the STG realize remunerative price for the GTL which they grow and supply to the tea processing units.
“The long pending demand for the over 65,000 STG families in the Nilgiris is that fixation of MSP for GTL. Now, the cost of production of tea has gone up. At this juncture, the STG wants the centre to fix at least Rs30 as MSP for a kg of GTL. Since, tea is a central subject, it is for the Centre to act. Moreover, the Centre should take action to include tea under essential commodities act that would pave way for the tea growers get the sops available for the essential commodities,” he said.
The Government of India should also take steps to set up a tea exhibition centre at Ooty to display the varieties of tea being manufactured in Nilgiris.
This would help the tourists to learn more about varieties of tea that would boost tea sales in a good way to bring more revenue to the tea farmers.
“We have already asked the Centre to act on these issues,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mr Thumbur I. Bojan, president of the ‘Malai Maavatta Siru-vivsayigal Nala Sangam’ said that the centure should evolve a mechanism to curb the cartel amongst the tea buyers in the auction centres.
The Centre should evolve steps to auction the black tea for Rs 100 and above per kg. That would automatically bring good prices for the GTL. The Central government should also come forward to waive the loans taken by the STG, he pleaded....