Small tea growers in Nilgiris demand creation of corpus fund

Published - February 09, 2024 01:33 pm IST - COIMBATORE

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Representational image | Photo Credit: Getty Images

The small tea growers in the Nilgiris have sought creation of a corpus by the Central and State governments to ensure the growers get fair price for green tea leaves.

According to J.B. Subramanian, co-ordinator for ‘Save Small Tea Growers’ forum, of the 65,000 small tea grower families in the Nilgiris district, nearly 35,000 supply green leaves to the tea co-operative federation (Indcoserve) factories run by the Tamil Nadu government.

The farmers get nearly ₹15 a kg for the green leaves now though the production cost works out to ₹25 a kg. According to M.S. Swaminathan Committee recommendation, the growers should get almost ₹37 a kg. “We are asking for a minimum floor price of ₹35 a kg. Till the floor price is fixed, the growers should be given a fair price. By creating a corpus, the government can pay the growers a fair price,” he said.

The farmers are unable to meet even the basic expenses such as wages for the workers with the current price. “In fact, many farmers supplying to the Indcoserve have not received even the ₹15 a kg for the last three months,” he alleged.

Mr. Subramanian urged all political parties to announce minimum floor price for green tea leaves as an election promise to the Nilgiris small tea growers.

“We have submitted several petitions. But, no action is taken in this regard. If a farmer gets remunerative price, it will be easy for him to focus and improve the quality of the leaves,” he added.

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