By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, August 26: The conference, a buyer-seller meet and an exhibition of the Northeast tea conclave and expo 2016 were held in a hotel in Guwahati today.
Various opportunities and challenges of Indian tea industry and trade were discussed at the meeting. The conclave kicked off by a special address by MGVK Bhanu, Additiol Chief Secretary of Assam. There was a panel discussion regarding the challenges and opportunities.
Challenges regarding shortage of tea, workers' problems, fixed selling prices, global warming, need of irrigation, degrading of soil health and ageing plants, ever-raising social causes found their place at the meeting.
Opportunities such as declaring tea as a tiol drink, benchmarking of category like gold, need of research and development, increasing share of tea in beverage market and unification as a strong cohesive tea trade body was focused by the dignitaries of various tea estates.
The grievances of the small tea growers also found its place in the discussion. The Borkers and auctioneers are urged for a steady flow of fince to small tea growers. The big tea estate owners are asked to protect the small tea growers and to promote them to make the industry vibrant and strong.
Speaking on the occasion Chandra Mohan Patowary , Minister of industries and Commerce, Assam said that the government was ready to help for the promotion of Assam tea in the South Asian countries by expansion of waterways and airways.
Dignitaries who were present at the meeting include Azam Monem, director of McLeod Russel India Limited, Bhrat Arya, chairman of Federation of All India Tea Traders' Association, Paras Desai, executive director of Wagh Bakri Tea Group, Prabhat K. Bezbaruah, vice chairman of Tea Research Association, Ramesh Chand Agarwal, Maging Director of Mohani Tea Leaves Pvt ltd, Amulleek Sing Bijral founder of Chai Point and Viren Shah chairman of Jivraj Tea Limited.