The Ministry of Commerce and Industry plans to study the tea auction portal (Bharat auction) and revamp it, said Tea Board India Executive Director (Coonoor) M. Muthukumar.
Speaking at the annual meeting of the Planters Association of Tamil Nadu (PAT) in Coimbatore on Saturday, he said that small tea growers in the Nilgiris were on strike for almost 20 days demanding reasonable prices.
Amardeep Singh Bhatia, Additional Secretary of Ministry of Commerce and Industry, who was in Coonoor recently, spoke to the Tea Board members and the small tea growers in the Nilgiris. He had said that a committee would be formed to study and modify the existing auction portal so that all stakeholders were benefitted. The committee would obtain feedback from farmers, bought leaf factories and buyers, Mr. Muthukumar said.
In most of the tea plantations in Tamil Nadu, the plants were more than 50 years old. These need to be replanted or rejuvenated so that production improved. Apart from support for small growers for replanting, the large and medium-scale plantations also needed support, though not as subsidies and incentives. Discussions were on in this regard, he said.