Kalpetta: The tea farmers of the district have launched their own tea factory, the ‘Wayanad Green Tea Producer Company Limited’, an initiative supported by NABARD at Karadippara near Ambalavayal on Thursday. A long time dream of Wayanad tea farmers, the factory focusing on Organic Tea is expected to give them a breather from middlemen and other factories who have been exploiting them for time immemorial, it was pointed out.
Costing Rs 77.88 lakh, a majority of the funds were mobilized from farmers as shares and the rest as repayable fund from NABARD, said Jose Sebastian, Chief Executive Officer of the newly formed producers’ company. “It is for the first time that the farmers of the region invested in an attempt to save the farming community from the tentacles of middlemen who collect the tea leaves from them and sell them to the factories after siphoning off a major chunk of the profit”, he pointed out.
Inaugurating the factory, Sulthan Bathery MLA IC Balakrishnan said that such models could be replicated in other areas of farming like coffee and pepper. The project aims at processing upto 5000 kilograms of green tea leaves per day producing the best quality Green Tea and Orthodox tea, assuring a good price for farmers.