Several steps taken to boost the Indian tea industry

Government of India through Tea Board had helped in formation of 352 Self Help Group (SHG), 440 Farmer Producer Organisation (FPO) and 17Farmer Producer Companies (FPCs).

Several steps taken to boost the Indian tea industry
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India has taken several steps to boost the output, create a niche brand for Indian tea and to ensure the welfare of the families associated with the tea industry. India is the 2nd largest tea producer and largest black tea producer in the world with production at around 1350 M. Kg and is self-sufficient to meet out the domestic requirements and export obligations.

India is also the largest consumer of black tea and consumes around 18% of the total World tea consumption. Indian teas are exported to various destinations and is the 4th largest tea exporter besides catering to a large number of domestic consumers. The Indian tea Industry is employing 1.16 million workers directly and an equal number of people are associated with it indirectly.

Small Tea Growers (STGs) are the emerging Sector contributing nearly 52% of the total produce. Presently there are nearly 2.30 lakh of Small Tea Growers existing in the supply chain. For this segment, following steps have been taken:

  • Government of India through Tea Board had helped in formation of 352 Self Help Group (SHG), 440 Farmer Producer Organisation (FPO) and 17Farmer Producer Companies (FPCs).
  • Various seminars/interactions are held with the STGs for quality plucking, capacity building, rush crop management etc.
  • Assistance towards procurement of pruning machines and mechanical harvesters.
  • Setting up of Mini tea factories to encourage entrepreneurs and unemployed youth.
  • Tea Board floated a tender for Price Sharing Formula for fixation of price of green leaves supplied between manufacturers and growers which will benefit a large number of people in a scientific method. The same is under process. A mobile app “Chai Sahyog”, is also being developed to help Small Tea Growers in terms of better price realisation and information.
  • Tea Board has devised a scheme of “Assistance of education stipend to the wards of Small Tea Growers” to improve their livelihood and education needs.
  • During the year 2022-23, till January, 2023, a sum of Rs. 3.25 crore was disbursed towards this component.

Indian Tea Exports have been competing strongly in the international markets and has been able to create a niche for itself. During 2022-23, Indian tea exports are expected to achieve more than 95% of the set targets of $883 million despite various geo-political, geo-economic and logistical challenges. Moreover, as per exporters inputs of late, the logistics impediments such as availability of containers etc have been smoothened out. To assist the tea industry in this, following steps have been taken:

  • Various Buyer-Seller Meets (BSMs) are being organised at intermittent intervals with the help of Indian Missions abroad for market intelligence reports and exploring the possibilities of further increase of tea exports, especially with regard to Orthodox tea importing countries such Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arab, Russia etc. There was BSM for Malaysia too.
  • RoTDEP rate for tea exports has been enhanced with an increased cap of Rs. 6.70 per Kg as compared to Rs.3.60 per Kg earlier based on Tea Board’s sustained persuasions.
  • During the current FY till December, 2022, tea exports registered 188.76 Million Kg of volume along with value realisation of 641.34 Million USD, an increase by 33.37 M. Kgs in volume (21.47% increase Y-o-Y) and 70.93 Mill USD in value (12.43%increase Y-o-Y).
  • Media campaigns are extensively used for branding of Indian tea, its health benefits for consumption etc., are continued.
  • Speciality Tea Logos are displayed prominently at all important forums and events that TBI participates in and stakeholders are facilitated towards following proper guidelines for usage of these logos.

Darjeeling tea is one of the coveted produces of the India which is the first GI registered. It is produced in the hilly area of Darjeeling district spread over in 87 tea gardens. The tea gardens have more than 70% of bushes aged more than 50 years and thus impacts the productivity. Presently the Darjeeling tea production is in the range of 6-7 M.Kgs.

To address the concerns of Darjeeling tea industry, including challenge of cheap import of Nepal tea, a committee has been formed by Tea Board with stakeholders of Darjeeling tea industry and it is looking into possible solutions. Various steps are being taken by Tea Board and by the Ministry for rigorous quality checks of cheap imported tea.

Tea Board has suggested further amendments in the “Tea Development and Promotion Scheme, 2021-26” wherein several components are included for the overall benefit of the tea industry. In order to have a transparency in disbursement and identification of beneficiaries, an online mechanism under “Service plus Portal” has been launched. 

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