Guwahati, Sep 29: Keeping in view the needs of research support and continuous innovations to bring about transformational change in the Indian tea industry, Tocklai Tea Research Institute of the Tea Research Association (TRA) is integrating it’s Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) in the form of TRA-TOCKLAI GAP-GMP Standard, aligned with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. The Standard supports strategies which will contribute in improving overall farm practices, management systems and sustainability performance.
The idea of having a home-grown sustainability certification was mooted by Joydeep Phukan, Secretary TRA to the Council of Management of TRA on 29th June, 2022 which was unanimously accepted.
TRA-TOCKLAI GAP-GMP Standard which will be put into practice from 1st January 2023, recognizes the challenges faced by the tea industry due to climate change and prescribes climate-resilient practices to adapt and mitigate climate change impacts, improving resilience of the industry.
The recommended practices on maintaining healthy soils, conserving water and energy resources, avoiding deforestation, encouraging afforestation programme, planting climate-smart planting material, protecting natural ecosystems and biodiversity, reducing GHG emissions etc. would significantly contribute towards a climate-resilient tea industry.
TRA-TOCKLAI GAP-GMP Standard , which is being supported by Tea Board of Indian was launched at the 58th Annual General Meeting of Tea Research Association on 28th September at Kolkata by Saurav Pahari, Chairman Tea Board of India in the midst of all industry stakeholders.
Paban Singh Ghatowar, former Union Minister and President ACMS was also present in the launch function. The new standard for the Indian tea industry which is based on the practical recommendations of the 112-year-old R&D body will go a long way in ensuring sustainability of the Indian tea industry.
Tocklai Tea Research Institute of Tea Research Association (TRA) has been the pioneer R&D organization globally in the field of tea research and engineering since 1911.
Through its wide range of R&D activities over 112 years, TRA Tocklai has actually made tea plantations economically viable in North India and have made significant contributions by developing more than 200 tea cultivars, suitable agro-techniques and location specific package of practices for nutrition, crop protection, tea processing, methodology of sustainable tea plantations and production.
TRA Tocklai invented the CTC tea and Rotorvane machine which revolutionised tea production and consumption in the world.
Prabhat Bezboruah Chairman TRA stated that Tocklai should come out with climate resilient tea clones after it has successfully sequenced the tea genome. This will go a long way in addressing the problems of drought and pest incidence. He informed the members of the trials on different kind of fertilisers such as nano urea and polyhalite taken up by Tocklai in the last two years. Israel Chemicals Ltd from Tel Aviv presented their joint TRA ICL work on polyhalite for the tea plantations.
Saurav Pahari emphasised on the need for industry paying more attention to research and development to address some major problems of the industry. He stated that TRA have successfully sustained the industry for the last 112 years in spite of it’s own problems of funding. He stated that there is a proposal to enhance R&D funding for innovative projects to take the industry forward.
Chief Guest of the AGM Prof Alok Dhawan, an eminent scientist of India spoke on the need for GAP-GMP standards and safety of tea.
Ms Nayantara Palchoudhuri of Washabarie Tea Co & Mohorgung Gulma Tea Co was elected as the Chairperson of TRA and Atul Asthana, MD & CEO of Goodricke Group as Vice Chairman TRA.