The tea industry has called for promotion of Assam tea at the global level in the two-day tea conclave inaugurated by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
Speaking at the conclave, North Eastern Tea Association Adviser Bidyananda Barkakoty said price increase of tea at farm gate, steps to resolve the demand-supply mismatch, promotion of Assam Tea, extension of flagship schemes of the Union Government for the benefit of the employees of the tea sector are some measures to bail out the crisis-ridden tea industry of the State.
He argued that increase in price of tea at the farm gate level will help sustainability. The price at farm gate level has remained stagnant over the last few years and has not been able to keep pace with the increase in cost of production.
Moreover, he maintained, economic upliftment of its workforce would help the tea sector.
Like any other commodity, price of tea is also determined by the interaction of supply and demand. To attain demand-supply equilibrium, the State will either have to restrict tea production, or it will have to increase consumption of its tea.
He suggested that the State Government, through its Tourism Department and Tea Directorate, should aggressively promote and brand ‘Assam Tea’ in domestic and international markets.
He further argued that given the cyclical nature of the tea industry, there is a need to encourage tea plantations to selectively deploy marginal areas within the tea grant lands which are not suitable for tea cultivation for alternative economic activity such as black pepper, floriculture, horticulture, fisheries, and for the purpose appropriate amendments to Assam Land Use Laws may be necessary.