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Assam small tea growers consider their own brand

The small tea growers of Assam are considering the creation of their own brand, reports The Times of India. New Delhi-based Centre for Education and Communication (CEC), in co-ordination with UK-based Traidcraft, will facilitate this project.

The 70,000 small tea growers in Assam produce nearly 30 percent of the total tea in the state. However, they are at the mercy of large companies, and often do not get fair value for the sale of their finished goods.

J John, executive director of CEC, stated that they will help in creating a primary society of tea growers or self-help groups (SHGs). The small tea growers would be able to get fair bargains through this united front. If necessary, setting up of an independent brand will be worked on, which will go a long way towards resolving the problems of the tea growers.

The European Union will provide financial assistance to the tune of USD1.3 million for the project, which will be implemented in Assam, West Bengal, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram.

Dinesh Sarma, Secretary of the All Assam Small Tea Growers Association, stated: "We have decided to cooperate with the CEC in implementing the project. The project is important for us as price realisation is a big problem here."

"Last year, we got a maximum price of INR16 against per kg of green leaves in the beginning of the season, but later, it went down to INR4 per kg, which is depressing," Sarma added.

John stated that initiatives similar to this have already been successfully implemented in Tamil Nadu.

Source: The Times of India