BISWANATH CHARIALI: The announcement of the closure of around 20 Bought leaf tea industries has allegedly affected 30,000 small tea growers in Biswanath district. The decision was taken by Biswanath District Bought-leaf Tea Producers' Association after the Biswanath District Tea Monitoring Committee fixed the price of green tea leaves at Rs 26.72 per kg on Friday and directed that 65% fine quality tea leaves could be procured. At present, the price of green tea leaves in Biswanath is Rs 19 per kg. The meeting was attended by officials from district administration, Tea Board of India officials Amrita Chakravarty, Anupam Nandi and Amar Gogoi, representatives from Bought-leaf tea industries and small tea growers and others.
The price of raw tea leaves per kg in Biswanath district went up from Rs 30 to Rs 42 per kg in March, April and May this year but has come down to Rs 16/17 in June. The small tea farmers alleged that it is by no means possible to deal with the upward price of manure, pesticides, vitamins, domestic expenses and cost of education of children, medical expenses as well as other related expenses at getting only Rs 16/17 per kg against green tea leaves from the tea factory owners. To protest this, Biswanath and Behali Regional Small Tea Growers' Committee had decided not to pluck green tea leaves from July 26. However, it was withdrawn after Biswanath District Tea Monitoring Committee's intervention into the matter. On the contrary, Bought-leaf Tea Producers' Association announced the closure of their factories.