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Boost for Assam tea

Assam’s tea industry has received a big boost with the formal inauguration of an e-auction centre for tea at Jorhat

Assam tea

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  22 May 2020 5:06 AM GMT

Assam's tea industry has received a big boost with the formal inauguration of an e-auction centre for tea at Jorhat on Wednesday. This preceded by one day the celebration of the first International Tea Day. The country's eighth tea auction centre — also the second in the region – which was graced by Assam Legislative Assembly Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami, also comes at a time when the state's tea industry has been struggling to recover from the massive loss it had incurred due to the lockdown. Fortunately, tea was one of the first industries to have resumed work, and is now slowly beginning to recover. It is at such a juncture that the first International Tea Day also came to be observed. The United Nations General Assembly had on December 21, 2019, adopted a resolution designating May 21 as the International Tea Day. It also vested upon the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) the responsibility to lead the observance of the Day. The Day is intended at promoting and fostering collective actions to implement activities in favour of the sustainable production and consumption of tea and raise awareness of its importance in fighting hunger and poverty. It is important to note that tea production and processing constitutes a main source of livelihoods for millions of families in developing countries and is the main means of subsistence for millions of poor families, who live in several least developed countries. The tea industry is a main source of income and export revenues for some of the poorest countries and, as a labour-intensive sector, provides jobs, especially in remote and economically disadvantaged areas. Tea can play a significant role in rural development, poverty reduction and food security in developing countries, being a very important cash crop. The UN has also linked tea to at least four of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). While tea production and processing contributes to reduction of extreme poverty (Goal 1) and the fight against hunger (Goal 2), it also contributes towards empowerment of women (Goal 5) and the sustainable use of terrestrial eco-systems (Goal 15). It is also important to note that the UN has emphasized the urgent need to raise public awareness of the importance of tea for rural development and sustainable livelihoods and to improve the tea value chain to contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Simultaneously, the UN has also pointed out that tea consumption can bring health benefits and wellness due to the beverage's anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and weight loss effects. While research is on and evidence of the immunity-enhancing benefits of tea and its constituents is on the increase, one study cited in a 2007 paper by a Harvard Medical School professor and rheumatologist called Jack F Bukowski and his team had stated that tea – consumed five cups a day – could reduce the incidence of colds and flu. Given this kind of importance on tea given by United Nations, it is very significant that an e-auction centre for tea has finally become a reality in the tea heartland of upper Assam.

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