GUWAHATI: The All Assam Small Tea Growers' Association (AASTGA) has urged New Delhi and Dispur to fix the MSP (Minimum Support Price) of green tea leaves at Rs 30 per kg. The association has laid stress on the production of quality tea. The small tea growers of the state had to suffer losses for the past few years due to the low prices of green leaves. The association is worried over the reports on the decline in the quality of Assam tea as felt by certain quarters in the industry.
Talking to The Sentinel, AASTGA general secretary Karuna Mahanta said, "The green leaves that small tea growers produce comprise 50 per cent of the total tea production in the state. Small tea growers are local youths. Every district has a committee headed by the deputy commissioner to monitor the prices of green tea leaves. However, such committees are not proactive. That deprives the small tea growers of remunerative prices for green leaves. We want such committees to be proactive and make sudden visits to tea factories that buy green leaves.
The state has around 1.50 lakh small tea gardens engaging over 15 lakh local youths directly or indirectly. The state has over 300 bought leaf tea factories.