Assam tea industry in a “very bad shape”: Minister


Guwahati: Assam Industry Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary on Wednesday said the state’s tea industry is in a “very bad shape” with many gardens being sold to companies in the west Asia.

He said the crisis-ridden tea sector in the state is not able to get remunerative price in overseas markets with lack of linkages.

“We have asked the tea garden owners not to sell off their estates to foreign companies but instead focus on branding the Assam tea” the minister said during an interaction with media persons here.

Most of the tea being sold at the Dubai Tea Park is from Assam and other countries like Sri Lanka and Kenya but they have been branded with different names, he said.

“Our tea is not getting the due price and recognition in the international markets”, he said.

Patowary said the state government has already announced zero cess for the tea industry and will soon meet its representatives to find a solution to the problems.

The minister said the Assam government is setting up a tea park at Chaygaon in Kamrup district and has also asked companies to become partners so that they can get better international market linkages.

“Assam tea is not getting a favourable competitive price in the international markets mainly due to lack of proper branding and international linkages,” he said.

The plucking of Assam tea is considered to be the best in the world as it is done manually while most of other tea-producing countries use machines for the purpose, the minister said.

The state government would also engage a third party such as the IIM, IIT or Tea Research Institute to conduct a study for better management, marketing, technical support, packaging and design, he added. (PTI)