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Shillong: In a boost to tea production in Meghalaya, three of its plantations and processing units have been certified “organic” by a certified agency of the government of India, official sources said on Monday.
The certification for processing and plantation have been given to Urlong Tea factory in East Khasi Hills district and Nalan Tea industries and government-owned Meg Tea processing unit in Ri-Bhoi district, they said. India Organic which awarded the “organic” certificates to these factories has approved that black tea, CTC tea, green tea and hand-rolled tea from these factories are considered as organic certified.
The certificates are valid for a period of one year and are valid till August 5, 2013. At present, about 35 plantations were engaged in production of tea in a total area of 92 ha. India Organic has also mentioned that approximately these factories could produce about 20 MT of organic black tea, 50 MT of organic CTC tea, 20 MT of organic green tea besides, 20 MT of organic hand-rolled tea.
According to the officials of the horticulture department, once the product is organic certified, it commands a very good price at the market both domestic and international. The good thing about the organic certification is that these products are also accepted in the US and in Europe, the officials said.
The Meghalaya government has also applied for organic certification of another 50 ha of tea plantation in both high and low land areas which could propel farmers to take up organic tea plantation on a more serious note. Meghalaya produces approximately about 600 MT of orthodox tea and about 5 MT of high value green tea. (PTI)