Assam government on Saturday, formed a committee to promote tea at the global level by adding value and branding it.
The panel, which will be headed by Additional Chief Secretary (Industry) Ravi Capoor, will also pursue GI tag for Assam tea, Industry Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, who held a review meeting with industry representatives, said.
“We must admit the condition of the tea industry is not good. We have a surplus production of 80 million kg. Due to the mismatch in the supply and demand, there has been no price realization. We are not able to compete in the international market,” Patowary said after the review meeting which was attended by representatives from the planters’ associations and companies.
He said, “The committee will look for means to develop a brand of Assam tea, along with a special logo. We will also be proposing for GI tag for Assam tea; we have GI registration for orthodox tea at present,” Patowary added.
Currently, only the Assam Orthodox tea has the GI tag.
Capoor said while prices of tea have remained stagnant for the last several years, the cost of production has increased by 9 per cent every year. The per capita consumption of tea in the country is just around 780 grams. The committee will also look for ways to increase the demand for Assam tea as well as ensure that price realisation is better.
The State produces around 650 million kg of tea annually, and 80 per cent of it is consumed in the country. Some 48 per cent of the production comes from small tea growers.
The industry minister also pointed out that while the workers in Assam produce around 2.5 kg of tea per worker per season, the figure is 6 kg in South India.