Tripura: Small tea growers fetching higher prices after going organic

Tripura: Small tea growers fetching higher prices after going organic

Assam government to give 20 percent Durga Puja bonus to tea garden workers Assam government to give 20 percent Durga Puja bonus to tea garden workers

A new green tea factory inaugurated in Panchamnagar under North Tripura district cherished smiles in the faces of local small tea growers after a long time as most of the farmers are now fetching great prices of raw green leaves, perhaps, the highest in Tripura.

The green tea factory constructed under a government scheme was, recently, handed over to a society of tea cultivators of the area. The factory can process not less than 800Kgs of tea at one go and is already receiving 200 to 300 Kgs of raw tea in the beginning. Moreover, after the factory started running full-fledged, not less than 14 tea growers converted their plantation into completely organic.

Speaking to this reporter, secretary of the society, Krishna Debbarma said, “right now we have 110 small tea growers enlisted in the society but not everyone is fetching the benefit yet as maximum gardens are yet to reach the maturity level. We have begun with 30 small tea growers who are regularly bringing their tea to us. We are procuring tea at the rate of Rs 25 to 30 per kg of green leaves which is as of our knowledge higher than most of the big gardens offer”.

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On being asked about the quality, he said, “The quality of tea is much better. We procure tea depending on its fine percentage. Most of the small tea growers, when offered good money, have shown interest to pluck leaves in time. Earlier, when they were compelled to sell their leaves to big-ticket gardens, they used to get Rs 15 per kg at the highest in lieu of their leaves. Now, as they are getting higher prices they are now very much encouraged to improve the quality of plucking”.

Sumedha Das, an agri-entrepreneur who is assisting the society to grow their business, said, “The small tea growers who are bringing tea daily are being paid exactly on the same day almost like the system followed in China. The farmers are very happy right now as after 30 years, the small tea growers are able to earn some benefit”.

Renowned tea maker Diganta Barmana said, Panchamnagar tea factory is the pioneer of Specialty Teas and Tripura 's first Mini Tea factory where almost 14 number small growers already converted to Organic tea plantation .

“The soil characteristics of panchamnagar is suitable for green tea and orthodox which can fill up the desired export market for the Middle East , Saudia Arabia , Turkey and Germany . Buyers appreciate all teas green and orthodox teas after tasting of teas. Tripura tea can produce good quality cups as per international markets . The state government as well TTDC is trying hard to establish Tripura tea brand's which is very appreciable .

We are trying to market Tripura tea in competition with Assam Tea, Darjeeling Tea, and other established brands. We have undertaken different initiatives like designing a logo, convincing planters to turn to organic and are encouraging others to try hands at different tea varieties”, added Barman.

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