Tea Board asked to expedite the process

The Tea Board should consider the formation of a Small Growers Development Authority, said members of the Board representing the Nilgiris S. Ramu and Koshy Baby.

They pointed out in a statement issued here that such a facility was a long felt need of growers and manufacturers in the small sector.

Adverting to a recent move of the Tea Board to bring into being such an authority, they said that it should be expedited.

Rapid growth

It will pave the way for rapid growth of the small sector. There are now about 80,000 small growers in the district. They were cultivating tea on about one lakh acres.

If tea is declared as an agro-based industry it will lead to the sector being extended a number of concessions.

It will help develop the small tea growers and put the economy of the district on a firm footing. The Quality Upgradation Programme (QUP) of the Tea Board which has over the years helped improve the image of the Nilgiris tea to a significant extent should be intensified. It should focus on pruning.

The Tea Board should come down heavily on the unhealthy practice of colouring tea. Action should be taken under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act.