Union Commerce and Industry minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said that the government is taking steps to help the small tea growers (STGs) which contribute to more than 50 per cent of the country's production.
Speaking at an event organised by Solidaridad Asia and Indian Tea Association on sustainable tea production through a video clip, Goyal said efforts are being made to strengthen the STGs and ensure them a safe source of supply to the factories for tea production.
"The government is taking steps to help the STGs which contribute to more than 50 per cent of the total tea production. Efforts are also there to ensure that the STGs become a safe source of supply to the factories producing tea", the commerce and industry minister said.
Goyal said that tea is an 'emotion in India'. "The Darjeeling variety has been a sensation while Assam tea has become a symbol of India's global recognition," he stated.
The Commerce and Industry minister said steps have been taken for automatic renewal of their licenses for exports, tea waste and warehousing.
The minister said Indian tea growers are spreading the aroma and colour across the world. "It is time to make tea manufacturing profitable, viable and a sustainable process. The tea exporters should focus on high value markets like the European Union, Canada and the US, as well as brand promotion and marketing".
Trinitea, an association formed by Solidaridad Asia, Indian Tea Association (ITA) and the Quality Council of India, is working only for the STGs by providing a platform for all the producers, big and small.
Managing Director of Solidaridad Asia Shatadru Chattopadhyay said that the STGs will be trained in adopting best agricultural practices and avenue to increase their income levels.
He said the STGs will be encouraged to sell branded teas in packets to get better realisation of their produce.
Chairperson of ITA Nayantara Pal Choudhuri said 75,000 growers have joined the Trinitea programme, both in North and South India.
Pal Choudhuri is the first chairperson of the newly formed Asia Tea Alliance, comprising countries like India, China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal to work on common issues like climate change, technology adoption and boosting consumption.
She said QR codes will be introduced in the produce of the growers for identification of traceability of the tea.