State to promote organic tea cultivation
Chai Sahyog app to help tea growers launched
NONGPOH: Agriculture Minister Banteidor Lyngdoh inaugurated the two-day Tea Expo organised by the Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare at Tea Development Centre, Umsning on Thursday. It was fully sponsored by NEC.
Speaking on the occasion, Banteidor informed that the state government is committed to promote organic tea cultivation and will ensure that all tea gardens in the state are organic certified. The minister also launched the Chai Sahyog Mobile App for tea growers. Sanjio Kumar, Executive Director, Tea Board of India informed that the app will help tea growers avail information about marketing and to maintain uniformity of pricing for sale. The tea producers can market their products and the stakeholders can share their problems with the tea board through this app. The app will also allow the board to keep track of quality of the green leaf and stop any unintended adulteration, he added.
Lyngdoh lauded the officials for conducting the expo to enable farmers from every corner of the state to participate.
He also lamented over the fact that the current scenario of tea farming is not at par with other crops grown in the state. The minister, however, encouraged farmers to compete with other states in terms of quality as the state has also imported tea leaves to Europe, US and South Africa.
He also appealed the Tea Board of India to consider the plight of the small tea farmers of the state and to extend help in setting up of small or mini tea factories to encourage tea farming and also to come up with the Tea Tourism schemes which will benefit the farmers of the state.
He also applauded the initiatives taken by tea gardens on tea tourism by setting up of home stays on their own expenses, and such effort has served the example for others.
He requested the Tea Research Association Tocklai to conduct intensive training programme for tea farmers of the state in order to broaden their knowledge and be experts in the field.
The tea stakeholders who participated in the Expo 2019 included Arsla organic tea growers and producers co-operative society ltd, Urlong tea IVCS Ltd, Meghalaya tea Upper Shillong and Umsning, M/s Marak tea processing unit Alokpal Bagmara, Anderson tea, Nalari tea, Sharawn tea, Denmar tea and Meg tea.
Lemiioel Harison Syiemlieh of Umsaitniang and Irilda Khyriem of Lumnongrim, who are the first tea growers in the district, were also felicitated. A tea magazine of the state was also released.
Others present include Biman Kumar Dutta, member of NEC, P.S Ahmed, Principal Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ welfare, Sanjio Kumar, Executive Director, Tea Board of India, NE Zonal office, Lympung Laloo, Director of Horticulture, B.N War, Director of Agriculture and others.
It was also attended by officials of Agriculture and Horticulture department, the pioneer of organic tea cultivation, Rajah Banerjee, tea stakeholders from different parts of Meghalaya and farmers at large.