SHILLONG, July 8: The Tea Development Centre at Umsning, Ri Bhoi District, is one out of two tea plantation of the state government in East Khasi Hills district which produces organic tea. The other one is located at Upper Shillong.
During a recent visit by this scribe to the Tea Development Centre, M Marbaniang, Tea Development Officer informed that the organic tea production centre was initiated by the state government in the 2009-10.
“We had received the scope certificate in the year 2012-13 to authenticate that the tea produce is organic and the certificate is renewed every year after the auditor from Control Union Certification visit the plantation,” he said.
“In this ICS group we have around 20 farmers from Mawlyngot and 37 farmers from Ri-Bhoi in the two government tea plantation and the total area when combined is around 130 hectare,” he said.
He informed that the department has been encouraging the farmers to switch to organic farming when it comes to tea plantation.
“Our state when compared with other states in the country is not utilizing much pesticides and chemicals when it comes to tea plantation,” Marbaniang said.
He also said that farmers who are not using any chemicals for tea plantation should also get the scope certificate to make sure that their produce being sent to various markets is really organic and if their produce has this organic tag, the price will automatically increase in the market and the farmers will be benefiting.
He added, “We have a total of around 57 organic tea plantation owned by local farmers out of which two belongs to the state government.”
When asked, he informed that the production of Meg Tea in the past three years amounted to 4000 Kg per year and the produce is also being exported outside the state.