Treat us like Agri farmers; give aid, say tea growers of Nilgiris

COONOOR: Rain resumed in the Nilgiris on Friday after a day's break. Most parts of the district received sharp showers on Friday afternoon and mist cover obstructed visibility on roads. The prolonged incessant rainfall has affected the harvest of tea in the district. Tea estates suffered a lot due to absenteeism.  L Vairavan, Planter in Erinkadu told TNIE, “On many days, most workers who are migrant labour from Jharkhand, did not report for work because of heavy rain.  We fear 60 per cent loss in production”.

Director of Avataa Beverages G Udayakumar in Billimalai, said, “We have not had sunshine for over almost a month now. Sunshine is essential for the growth of tea leaves. The continuous rains as also mist have caused retardation in the growth of tea leaves.  Along with workers unable to harvest tea leaves on time, rain has affected production heavily”.

Founder Chairman of Small Tea Growers’ Association of Southern India (STASI), Dr S Ramu said, “Because of rainfall, the livelihood of nearly 60,000 tea small growers has been adversely hit.    We have appealed to the Centre and State Government to treat tea growers on par with general farmers and give them flood relief”.