Small growers enjoy a place in the sun via organic tea

The Wayanad Green Tea Producer Company has become a kind of role model for small tea growers in the country by ensuring sustainable income through organic tea cultivation.

‘According to the data with the Tea Board, as many as 3,500 registered small-scale farmers in the district depend on the tea sector for their livelihood. But most of them are left to the mercy of bought leaf agents and bought leaf factories in the absence of any processing facilities in the small-scale tea sector of the district,’ said Jose Sebastian, CEO of the company.

As the farmers had no access to tea factories, they were forced to sell their produce to the bought leaf agents or the middlemen as per the price fixed by them.

Five years ago, members of the Small Tea Growers Society at Karadippara and the Karshaka Jyothi Small Tea Growers Society at Vattachola in the district constituted Wayanad Green Tea Producer Company, a farmer-producer organisation, with the support of NABARD to overcome exploitation by the middlemen.

Finally, they set up a factory exclusively for green tea processing at Karadippara to tap the vast potential of organic green tea.

The company, which started with 15 shareholders and ?10 lakh in authorised capital, now has 167 shareholders and an authorised capital of ?50 lakh, Mr. Jose said....Read more


Source web page: The hindu

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