Small tea growers in the Nilgiris have sought measures for a minimum fair price for green tea leaves.
In a memorandum addressed to Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K.S. Alagiri, J.B. Subramanian, founder-president of the Small and Tiny Growers, Nilgiris, said that of the 65,000 small tea growers involved in tea cultivation in the Nilgiris, 30,000 growers supply green tea leaves to the Industrial Cooperative Tea Factories controlled by the State government through INDCOSERVE. The remaining farmers supply the leaves to nearly 150 bought leaf private tea factories in the district.
At present, the cost of production of green leaves is more than ₹25 a kg. Hence, the minimum price that they should get is ₹25 plus ₹12.50 (a total of ₹37.50). This is based on the recommendations of the Dr. Swaminathan Committee.
However, the small growers are getting just ₹12 to ₹15 a kg. The Central and the State governments should take up the issue of the small growers.
Mr. Alagiri is due to visit Gudalur and Pandalur on Saturday.