Guwahati: Small Tea Growers of Assam and West Bengal have demanded the minimum support price (MSP) of green tea leaves produced by them.
In a letter to Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, the Confederation of India Small Tea Growers Associations (CISTA) informed that more than 2.5 lakh small tea growers are cultivating tea, contributing to 51 percent of national tea production.
However, the sudden fall in the prices of green tea leaves has left the STGs in ravaging condition, threatening their sole survival.
The challenge faced by the STGs is that the dictated price received is insufficient to meet the production cost, threatening their income security and plunging them into chronic indebtedness.
In recent, production cost has been increased to Rs. 19/kg with the hike of workers wages and several other matters, CISTA stated.
Tea Board of India has taken further measures like a declaration of monthly minimum benchmark price (MBP) and price sharing formula but haven’t been of much help yet.
But, factories do not care to adhere to the rules laid down by Tea Board Guidelines related to the minimum benchmark price.