Dimapur, Nov 18: Tea Board of India stressed the need for consolidation of tea cultivation in Nagaland.
Director of tea development of the Tea Board of India, Calcutta, S. Soundararajan, who paid a two-day visit to the state recently, expressed his views on augmenting tea cultivation in the state during interactions with the state government officials and the tea farmers.
Noting that most of the green tea leaves produced in Nagaland go outside the state, Soundararajan said Nagaland can have its own characteristic tea if the tea leaves grown in the state can be processed within the state.
He said the Tea Board of India under its ‘tribal area sub-plan’ can assist the farmer producer organisations of the state to set up their big factories or individuals and self-help groups to form mini-tea factories. The scale of assistance is a back-ended subsidy up to 40 per cent with a ceiling of Rs 2 crore for big factories and Rs 33 lakh for mini-tea factories.
Soundararajan said there are other assistance schemes such as subsidy on mechanical harvesters, pruning machine, weighing scale, power sprayers and others under the tribal area sub-plan scheme.
This is the first visit by a high official from the Tea Board of India to Nagaland.
During the two-day visit on November 12 and 13, Soundararajan interacted with chief secretary R. Binchilo Thong, other high state government officials and officials of the All Nagaland Small Tea Growers Association (ANSTGA).
ANSTGA president Shami Angh assured the Tea Board of India to create necessary awareness amongst the small tea growers of Nagaland for enhancing tea cultivation in the state. Angh also requested the director to set up a separate office of Tea Board of India and a Tea Research Association in Nagaland.