Sunday, 4 September 2011

Problems of the Tea Industry

 The ‘Tea Board’ is the apex organisation looking after all matters concerning tea. The major areas of concern in the tea industry are:
1.    Rising costs of inputs like fertilizers, pesticides,
2.    Labour costs constitute 60% of costs , and the acute labour shortage is hitting the industry hard.
3.    Old age of the tea-bush has resulted in decreasing productivity
4.    Lack of easy credit- this affects acquiring new technology
5.    Lack of proper infrastructure like roads linking remote gardens
6.    Sick and closed gardens, labour unrest
7.    Global warming and climate change has resulted in erratic weather patterns
8.    Lack of integration of supply-chain elements means returns do not trickle down to producers

New Strategy planned by the Tea Board
1.    Provide incentives to farmers for practicing  precision-farming techniques- which will result in quality enhancement
2.    Encourage nurseries for high yielding clones
3.    Empowering small growers through SHGs
4.    Energy conservation through energy-efficient machines, adoption of renewable energy
5.    Mechanization to help deal with labour shortage
6.    Linking of NREGA to agriculture fields
7.    Investments contemplated in organic tea, organized sector
8.    Promotion of tea as a health drink

Reference: Business Standard, 31st August 2011

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