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Sonowal launches financial aid scheme for small tea growers

 

GUWAHATI: Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Tuesday  ceremonially launched direct benefit transfer of financial incentives for Small Tea Growers (STG) for new area under plantation in a programme held at Dr. Madhab Chandra Das Auditorium of Assam Agricultural University at Jorhat. The incentive to the tune of Rs. 5,000 per bigha would benefit 1188 STGs of the state.

Speaking on the occasion, Sonowal said that the tea industry was directly related to the land, climate, civilization and culture of Assam and the state Government had resolved to support the industry for its sustainable growth. He also urged the STGs to work cohesively with the big players in the field for wholesome growth of the tea industry in Assam.

“The Small Tea Growers have emerged as a formidable force in the state and significantly contributed to the growth of state economy. However, the industry has of late faced serious challenges and to overcome them, the big and small tea growers must put united efforts. The Government has also resolved to promote the industry and extend support to the people involved with its plantation. The financial incentive is a small step but it reflects the Government’s intent”, he observed.

“The Small Tea Growers must opt for organic plantation. This will boost our environment and make the economy sustainable”, he said adding that the Government was not in favour of an economy at the cost of ecology. Sonowal also urged the STGs to maintain quality in their production.

Underlining the state government’s initiatives to boost the tea industry, he informed that an amount of Rs. 17 crore have been sanctioned for setting up a Training and Research Centre at Toklai Tea Research Centre, which would focus more on empowering the small tea growers. The state government has already taken a decision to provide land patta to the STGs against the land under plantation at a premium of Rs. 1000 per bigha upto 30 bigha, he added. He also mentioned that fresh survey would be conducted to identify the number of STGs in the state.

 

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