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‘Quality consciousness among SHGs on the rise’

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Business talk: The Tea Board Executive Director, R.D. Nazeem, inaugurating a workshop for small tea growers in Coonoor on Saturday. —
Business talk: The Tea Board Executive Director, R.D. Nazeem, inaugurating a workshop for small tea growers in Coonoor on Saturday. —

Special Correspondent

Many leaf tea factories buying tea leaf from SHGs

Udhagamandalam: Quality consciousness is on the rise among Self-Help Groups (SHGs) engaged in tea cultivation and related activities, said the Executive Director, Tea Board, R.D. Nazeem, in Coonoor on Saturday.

Inaugurating a workshop organised by the Centre for Education and Communication (CEC) to share with representatives of small growers the outcome of an evaluation done on its project, ‘sustainable livelihood for small tea growers’, he said that many leaf tea factories were buying tea leaf only from societies run by SHGs. They were also fetching higher prices.

Pointing out that the Tea Board would henceforth extend assistance for pruning, replanting and other activities only to groups, he said that so far about 46 SHGs have been helped by the Board for procuring inputs.

Stating that five groups have been provided with revolving funds, he said that a fool-proof monitoring system has been put in place. It will ensure that the funds were replenished.

Underscoring the importance of training, Mr. Nazeem said that a month-long training programme was now under way to convert representatives of SHGs into agents of change.

It will ensure that the objectives of the SHG concept were achieved.

He welcomed the initiative of the CEC.

The Programme Coordinator, United Planters Association of Southern India-Krishi Vigyan Kendra (UPASI-KVK) Kumaravadivel also spoke.

A report compiled for CEC by Liby Johnson on small growers’ societies was presented.

Among the participants were members of the Confederation of Indian Small Tea Growers Association (CISTA) from various tea growing areas including Assam, West Bengal, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

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