Agriculture Prelims cum Mains

Assam govt announces four new schemes for tea gardens

News

The Assam government on Friday announced four schemes for the tea industry, including a push for the production of ‘orthodox’ variety of leaves which is exported majorly.

About Schemes

  1. 3% interest subvention
    • Interest subvention per year will be provided to those tea gardens which have taken a working capital loan, with an overall cap of Rs 20 lakh
  2. subsidy of Rs 7 per kg of ‘orthodox’ tea
    • State government will give a subsidy of Rs 7 per kg of ‘orthodox’ tea
    • Note– Tea Board of India already provides a Rs 3 subsidy per kg of ‘orthodox tea’, making it a total subsidy of Rs 10 per kg
  3. 25% capital subsidy
    • if a tea garden purchases new machinery to manufacture ‘orthodox’ tea, then the state govt will help with a 25% capital subsidy
  4. an agricultural income tax holiday for three years

India’s Tea Industry

  • Indian tea is among the finest in the world owing to strong geographical indications, heavy investments in tea processing units, continuous innovation, augmented product mix and strategic market expansion. 
  • The main tea-growing regions are in Northeast India (including Assam) and in north Bengal (Darjeeling district and the Dooars region). Tea is also grown on a large scale in the Nilgiris in south India. 
  • India is one of the world’s largest consumers of tea, with about three-fourths of the country’s total produce consumed locally.

Types of tea Production 🍵

  • Orthodox and CTC are basically the two major or the most popular styles of tea production in Indian Tea Market. The tea leaves produced by these methods are being given their respective names after their production styles
  • Major difference between them is summarized below –

Orthodox Tea

Orthodox teas are loose tea leaves produced using the traditional style (plucking, withering, rolling, oxidation and drying)

Orthodox tea preserves the singular virtue of the tea leaves

Because of the traditional methods used while producing Orthodox tea leaves, the process requires a large human involvement and also consumes high amount of time which tends to make it exclusive.

If one opts for authenticity, orthodox teas produce more genuine tea experience as compared to CTC tea. Having a delicate flavor, the orthodox tea provides blending of all tea types making it more complex flavored

Production cost is higher than the CTC tea as conventional method of production involved & more labour requirement

Good for the Export

CTC Tea

CTC requires more advanced methods starting from putting the leaves inside a cylindrical roller. This style includes cutting, tearing and curling

CTC focuses on the faster production sight keeping quality of tea in mind to meet the global market demand.

CTC on the other hand is production friendly and ensures quality beverage at faster rate hence, meeting the demand of global tea market.

CTC teas have inclusive taste providing a distinct astringent flavor. That’s where CTC serves you when you want to have masala chai with some mixture of milk in it, right?

Production cost is lower than the Orthodox tea

Difference between Orthodox and CTC Black Tea

Relevant Legislation for tea Industry

Tea Act 1953

  • Aim- An Act to Provide for the control by the Union of the tea industry pursuant to relevant International agreements and developing the industry as well as production and marketing of tea.
  • It also gives power to central government for regulating the export of tea and levy a customs duty on tea exported from India.
  • It also establishes a Tea Board of India.

Plantation Labor Act, 1951

  • The Plantation Labour Act, 1951 provides for the welfare of plantation labour and regulates the conditions of work in plantations. 
  • The Act applies to any land used as plantations which measures 5 hectares or more in which 15 or more persons are working. However, the State Governments are free to change these criteria.
  • In every plantation covered under the Act, medical facilities for the workers and their families are to be made readily available. 
  • Also, it provides for setting up of canteens, creches, recreational facilities, suitable accommodation and educational facilities for the benefit of plantation workers in and around the work places in the plantation estate. 
  • Its amendment in 1981 provided for compulsory registration of plantations.

About Tea Board of India

  • The Board was set up under the Tea Act, 1953, and it started functioning in April 1954.
  • Its headquarters are in Kolkata, with 17 offices across India.
  • In addition to developmental and regulatory functions, the Tea Board of India undertakes direct promotional activities, which include organising joint participation in international fairs and exhibitions, arranging buyer-seller meets and sending and hosting trade delegations. 
  • The Board also undertakes various market development activities such as market surveys, market analysis, tracking of consumer behaviour and dissemination of relevant information to exporters/importers.

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