Bidyananda Barkakoty, the adviser of North Eastern Tea Association (NETA) feels that the ailing tea industry of Assam needs a shot-in-the-arm, and the easiest way to so, he feels, is by injecting some known faces into the fray to promote the beverage on a greater scale.
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Talking to Inside Northeast, Mr Barkakoty feels that the Government should appoint a celebrity ambassador to promote the industry and give it a push-in-the-arm. "It is my belief that the Government should appoint a celebrity in the vein of Priyanka Chopra's appointment as the Awesome Assam ambassador. Somebody like, say, Hima Das. To ensure a robust tea industry and increase per capita consumption, we have to reach out to the people to inform them about its health benefits..."
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Earlier, it was reported that ea production in Assam had reached an all-time high in 2019, with a total of 715.79 million kilos being produced.
Reacting to this development, Barkakoty said: "It is a happy moment for us, but we are worried also, as tea prices are stagnant...because of demand-supply mismatch. If this trend continues, the industry is looking at bleak times ahead. The tea estates are worried. Only solution is to increase consumption....by increasing export under the 'Act East Policy' of the Government. We want that the producers should be able to export directly and our target should be export 300 million kilos, and we have achieved only 260 million kilos..."
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