The Tripura Tea Development Corporation (TTDC) will engage more workforce in the coming season for quality plucking of green leaf from tea estates to ensure better price for all the stakeholders associated with the state’s century-old industry.
For the past few years, poor plucking has hit the state’s tea industry the most, fetching an average price of Rs 200 plus per kg in the auction markets – Kolkata and Guwahati. Now, the TTDC wants to increase the average tea price to more than Rs 300 per kg.
“We are going to provide utmost care to ensure quality plucking of green leaf from the tea estates as this is an area where a lot of work needs to be done. Currently, plucking of tea leaves takes 10 to 15 days due to acute shortage of experienced tea pluckers. It should be 7 to 8 days if one wants to collect quality leaves. More workforce will be engaged in tea plucking in the coming session 2022-23 for producing quality tea”, said Santosh Saha, Chairman of TTDC here on Sunday.
Saha said the TTDC has also been focusing on setting up modern tea processing factories in the state. “A mini green tea making factory has already been set up with the help from North East Council (NEC). Besides, two modern packaging units were established in Durgabari tea estate”, he said.
Two Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) to the tune of Rs 11.20 crore have been sent to NEC for modernization of existing tea processing units at Durgabari and Brahmakuna tea estates.
The TTDC chairman further said the state government has been in touch with Dhaka to export tea to Bangladesh. “We are trying to access the Bangladesh tea auction centre situated at Srimangal in Sylhet district, which is near Kamalpur sub-division of Dhalai district. It will be a game changer for the state if we get the facility”, he stated.
For the past few years, the tea industry has been gaining momentum due to proactive initiatives taken by the TTDC. “Despite the Corona pandemic, the state produced 4.45 lakh kg of tea in the year 2020 whereas it was only 1.72 lakh kg in 2017 and 2.98 lakh kg in 2018. It shows a lot of good works were put in place in the past few years”, he pointed out.
Naturally, overall turnover has gone up significantly in the state. The turnover has enhanced to Rs 10.50 crore in 2020-21 from Rs 5.46 crore in the year 2019-20.