Jorhat: “We stand with the government in this fight against coronavirus pandemic. So far we have lost the premium quality of tea leaves between the period from March and April. Now that lockdown will be extended, we do not know how to go ahead as stopping the plucking activities have led to over growth of the tea bushes. To deal with this, we have to chop off the overgrown leaves and buds and we will need another 2-3 weeks,” said Rajen Borah, the president of All Assam Small Tea Growers’ Association (AASTGA) at Titabor on Sunday.
“To win the fight against coronavirus we have extended an amount of Rs 10 crore to Assam Arogya Nidhi from the deposited Rs 1.50 crore under the cess utilization fund. The small tea growers generally deploy minimum number of work force and if the government allows the bought tea leaf factories to operate then at least we can start operation following strict protocol laid down by the government,” he added.
“In the Upper Assam tea belt, contribution in production from small tea growers is maximum - to tune of 51 per cent of the State production. Small tea growers play a pivotal role in the State economy and after the lockdown we will request the State Government to announce a fiscal package for them. We also appeal that small tea growers hould be included in the Rs 1,75,000 crore package announced by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman under the Disaster Management Act,” said president of AASTGA, Rajen Borah.