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rabin
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 7:43 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Scheme to protect small tea growers
Newindpress.com SOUTHERN NEWS - TAMIL NADU
Tuesday July 12 2005 00:00 IST


CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Government has introduced a Small Tea Growers Protection Scheme under which it will pay a subsidy of Rs 2 per kg of green leaf tea produced by small growers in the Nilgiris district.

The subsidy, to be paid for a period of six months from July, will be reckoned on a per acre basis to about 60,000 small tea growers owning or operating up to 25 acres of tea garden each in the district.

Announcing the scheme, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said that this was being done to protect and insulate small tea growers from the current steep fall in tea prices and to ensure their well-being.

Taking the average production at 1,400 kg of green leaf tea an acre for a period of six months, a total subsidy of Rs 2,800 an acre will be paid to every small tea grower. The subsidy amount will be paid directly to the tea grower and is expected to cost the exchequer Rs 28 crore.

In view of the urgent need to intervene on behalf of small tea growers, she said that she had ordered the subsidy amount to be disbursed immediately to all eligible tea growers.

Jayalalithaa pointed out that the steep fall in the market prices of tea had seriously affected the livelihood of the tea growers in the Nilgiris, whose economy itself depended on tea, and that the small tea growers of the district had represented to her on July 5 seeking steps to safeguard them against the adverse effects of price fall.

The Chief Minister, who detailed the steps taken by her government to tackle the problems of the Nilgiris tea growers, said that the Centre’s Price Stabilisation Fund Scheme was unlikely to provide any “tangible benefit or protection” to the small tea growers as the scheme had stringent conditions.

The price band system adopted under the scheme did not take into account the conditions of the Nilgiris.

“The amount of relief available to small tea growers under this scheme is also only Rs 1,000 per grower, which is totally inadequate in the current situation. A much more liberal approach is necessary and the scheme has to be comepletely redesigned,” she said.

She had already written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about the current situation and the new State Government scheme requesting the Centre to reimburse the cost of the scheme.

Our Udhagamandalam correspondent adds:

The news on Monday, announcing a subsidy of Rs 2 a kg on green tea leaf, brought cheer to the small tea growers in Nilgiris district.

Out of the 65,000 small growers, more than 90 percent are Badagas, whose major livelihood in the last two decades revolved around the tea crop.

In the recent times, political parties, including MPs and MLAs, conducted meetings with Badaga leaders to take stock of the situation arising out of unprecedented decline in tea prices.

DMK supremo M Karunanidhi had on Sunday written a letter to the Prime Minister on the importance of fixing a minimum support price for green tea leaf to uplift the collapsed economy.

http://www.newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID=IET20050711123629&Page=T&Title=Southern+News+-+Tamil+Nadu&Topic=0

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rabin
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 3:29 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Orthodox tea subsidy: No benefit to small-scale units
The HINDU Businessline
P.S. Sundar, Coonoor , Aug. 7

TWO months after the Centre announced a subsidy for the manufacture of orthodox teas, the 60,000-odd small growers in Nilgiris have told the Government that this has not benefited them at all.

"The factories buying our green leaves manufacture only CTC teas and, hence, the subsidy does not apply to them. So, we also do not get improved prices for the raw material we supply," said Mr M. Bhojarajan, President of the Nilgiris Small Tea Growers' Association.

He had urged the Additional Secretary of Commerce, Mr Abhijit Sen Gupta, and the Tea Board Chairman, Mr N.K. Das, during a recent interaction, to give subsidy for production of quality CTC teas as that alone would benefit small growers, even as it would usher in quality in the end produce.

"We have asked for a subsidy for CTC teas, which fetch Rs 10 a kilo more than the district average at the auctions," he told Business Line.

But, the factories should be encouraged to go for dual manufacturing facilities so that they can shift from one variety to another depending upon the price and the demand.

"Since small-scale factories cannot afford the huge investment, we have sought the doubling of the machinery subsidy so that half the cost could be covered. This will help the factories install orthodox manufacturing machineries," Mr Bhojarajan said.

But it is intriguing as to why the Tea Board, which had realised the importance of orthodox teas in the global market, had not promoted the conversion or the establishment of the dual manufacturing facility in a large number of small-scale factories.

"Even when the Tea Board went ahead with its factory upgradation programme, I insisted on subsiding the orthodox machinery rather than the CTC. Since this was not carried out, today, even after the upgradation and the subsidy for the orthodox manufacture, the small growers have not gained," said Mr T. Rangaiah, former Vice-Chairman of the Tea Board.

"I promoted orthodox tea manufacture in the Kaikatty Indco factory. We got Rs 67.50 a kilo even as the average price was only Rs 25. Price is the big attraction for orthodox teas," said Mr Rangaiah, who is also the founder Chairman of this factory and the only elected Chairman of Indcoserve, the apex body of Indco factories.

Because of the lack of manufacturing facilities, the volume of orthodox teas in the market is low. This is more telling in the markets that are over-dependent on the teas from the small growers' sector.

In the Coonoor auctions, for instance, of the 24.6 million kg sold so far this year, only 1.79 million kg was orthodox teas. Last year, 1.91 million kg was sold in the corresponding months. But the loss is significant considering that every kilo of CTC tea sold fetched, on an average, Rs 13 lower than the orthodox teas. Besides, while the price of CTC teas has fallen by a rupee a kilo over the same period of last year, the orthodox teas are ruling Rs 3 a kilo more.

In the Kochi auctions, the volume of orthodox teas dropped drastically to 7 million kg from 25 million kg last year, principally because of some corporate manufacturers taking advantage of the price difference for the manufacture of CTC teas.

There, CTC teas are fetching Rs 8 a kilo more this year compared to Rs 3 in the case of orthodox teas. Still, orthodox teas are Rs 4 a kilo more than the CTC teas. But in the Coimbatore auctions, the exporters bought more orthodox teas, resulting in the volume rising to 1.3 million kg from 0.9 million kg last year. They paid Rs 7 a kilo more compared to just 60 paise more fetched by the CTC teas. Besides, orthodox teas are Rs 6 a kilo more than the CTC teas.

Overall, the market suffers from an inadequacy in the orthodox teas. This is the result of the south Indian tea industry stepping up in the recent past the manufacture of CTC teas, keeping the domestic market in view. The home market lays emphasis on the increased cuppage derivable from CTC teas. Export market needs more orthodox teas.

Right now, the Government's thrust is on orthodox manufacture and that's why it has given the subsidy of Rs 2 a kilo for the manufacture of dust grades and Rs 3 for leaf. But the corporate units had been seeking Rs 7 a kilo to cover the additional expense on the manufacture of orthodox teas.

In any case, the subsidy is funded out of the additional excise duty of around Rs 138 crore collected from the industry in the last two years. The commitment during the scheme period running up to March 31, 2007, is pegged only at half the additional excise duty collections. So, the Government does not lose even as the industry gains.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2005/08/08/stories/2005080800430700.htm

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sivakumar_jm
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2005 10:05 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Friday, Aug 19, 2005

Assurance on floor price for tea

Special Correspondent




UDHAGAMANDALAM: Union Commerce Minister Kamal Nath has assured a delegation at New Delhi on Thursday that the demand of the tea growers of the Nilgiris for a floor price for their produce would be favourably considered.

According to Nilgiris District Secretary of DMK Elithorai Ramachandran, who headed the delegation, Mr.Kamal Nath had agreed to fix a floor price of Rs. 10 a kg of green leaf, but needed some time to go into the nitty-gritty of the issue. In all probability it would be implemented within a month, he claimed in a press note issued here through his office.

© Copyright 2000 - 2005 The Hindu
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sivakumar_jm
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2005 10:07 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Find solution to problems of tea growers: JD(S)

Special Correspondent

`If the uncertainty continues, youth may go astray'





UDHAGAMANDALAM: The need to find a lasting solution to the tea-related problems in the district was stressed at a meeting of the Nilgiris District Janata Dal (S) held here on Wednesday.

Speakers felt that if the period of uncertainty continued, the youth hailing from tea farmers' families and plantation labourers might get frustrated and go astray.

The meeting said that the small tea growers' protection scheme announced by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa should be implemented without causing hardship to beneficiaries. Unnecessary conditions should be done away with. Since tea was a major foreign exchange earner and its cultivation was an important activity in this industrially backward district, the Centre should ensure the economic well-being of the growers.

Strict action sought


The Centre should also give up its "anti-farmer attitude". The administration should take stringent action against those manufacturing sub-standard and adulterated teas. Officials who turned a blind eye to this activity or colluded with the anti-social elements should be dismissed. If the Government failed to fix a floor price of Rs.15 per kilogram of green leaf, the future of the people living here would become bleak.

By another resolution, the meeting noted that many of the important roads in this holiday destination were in a deplorable condition. Participants said that officials were concentrating only on roads frequently used by Ministers and other VIPs. District vice-president K.S. Bheeman presided. Among those who participated were State secretary H.T. Bojan and District general secretary R.S. Rajarathinam.








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sivakumar_jm
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2005 10:07 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Prabhu to lead delegation to New Delhi

Special Correspondent




UDHAGAMANDALAM: Nilgiris MP R. Prabhu will lead a delegation comprising Badaga leaders to New Delhi between August 23 and 27 to find a solution to the problems faced by small tea growers of the district.

In a statement here on Wednesday, Nilgiris District Congress Committee president B. Gopalan said that the MP would find a lasting solution to the problems of the tea growers here.

A six-member delegation including DMK District Secretary Elithorai Ramachandran and Nilgiris Bought leaf Tea Manufacturers Association president J. Hutchi Gowder had earlier left for New Delhi to urge Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Commerce Minister Kamal Nath to fix a floor price for raw tea leaves of the small growers here.
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sivakumar_jm
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2005 9:05 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Date:19/10/2005

Tamil Nadu - Udhagamandalam

Farmers observe fast
Special Correspondent
UDHAGAMANDALAM: Hundreds of persons, including farmers, participated in a fast organised under the aegis of the Farmers and Labourers Development Association at Gudalur on Tuesday.

It was to highlight the shortcomings in the implementation of the Tea Growers Protection Scheme. The participants urged the authorities concerned to implement the scheme properly and ensure that all the eligible small tea growers benefited from it.

Blaming World Trade Organisation conditions for the woes of the tea industry, they said that the Government should safe guard the interests of the planters.

On account of the fall in tea prices not only thousands of small tea growers but also lakhs of plantation workers were affected.

The president of the association R. Vanachandran led the demonstrators.

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sivakumar_jm
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2005 9:06 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Tamil Nadu - Udhagamandalam

Badagas extend support to Tea Board
Special Correspondent

Tea growers unhappy over poor price; adulteration a major worry
Udhagamandalam: A meeting of the Nilgiri `Nakkubetta' Badaga Welfare Sangam held here on Tuesday assured the Tea Board that it would standby all the efforts initiated by it to improve the image of the Nilgiris tea.

The association, however, lamented that though many small tea growers were according top priority to quality and improved their leaf plucking standards, their leaves were still fetching prices ranging between Rs. 3.50 and 4 a kg only. Since the poor prices were below the cost of production, the trend led to considerable mental agony. Through a resolution it urged the Chief Regional Executive, Tea Board, R.D. Nazeem, to increase the demand for the Nilgiri tea by bringing about an attitudinal change among the tea factory owners, traders and brokers and also crackdown on adulterators.

The participants hoped that concerted efforts would be made to improve the functioning of the Industrial Cooperative Tea Factories here.
Inaction criticised

Regretting that nothing tangible was being done by any of the political parties to find a lasting solution to the problems of the small tea growers here, the meeting decided to send a delegation to New Delhi next month to meet the Prime Minister, chief of the Congress party, Union Commerce Minister and others.

While acknowledging the efforts taken by Collector C. Vijayaraj Kumar to implement the State Government's Tea Growers Protection Scheme, the members hoped that none of the beneficiaries would be denied what was due to them. Steps should be taken to issue patta passbooks to all farmers.
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sivakumar_jm
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2005 9:59 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Date:05/12/2005 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2005/12/05/stories/2005120514280300.htm
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Tamil Nadu - Udhagamandalam

Tea growers to meet Prime Minister

Special Correspondent

Delegation headed by Nilgiris MP R. Prabhu to seek an end to crisis in industry





Udhagamandalam: A meeting of the Nilgiri `Nakkubetta' Badaga Welfare Association held here on Friday decided to send a delegation under the Nilgiris MP R. Prabhu to New Delhi in a bid to find a lasting solution to the problems of small tea growers here.

The delegation would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath and others concerned and impress upon them the need to fix a floor price for the raw tea leaf.

Prices unremunerative


The meeting noted that though the small tea growers were supplying good quality tea leaves to the factories, the prices were not remunerative. As a result, many of them were finding it difficult to make both ends meet.

Rain damage


The participants also expressed concern over the difficulties faced by potato and vegetable growers on account of the incessant rain.

Through a resolution they urged the district administration to take steps on a war-footing to repair the roads, particularly in rural areas which were badly damaged by the rain.

Association president B. Thathan presided. Leaders of Badaga community from different parts of the district and representatives of about 400 hamlets participated. General Secretary A.M. Joghee welcomed the gathering. Treasurer C.N. Ramadevan proposed a vote of thanks.
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