The Tea Board is now focusing on extending its activities to remote parts of the Nilgiris, which have hitherto not benefited from its schemes, said the Executive Director, Tea Board R. Ambalavanan while speaking to The Hindu here on Sunday.
Pointing out that the Board has so far been dealing with tea gardens and factories in traditional areas only, he said that henceforth subsidy for plantation development, rejuvenation, pruning etc would be provided even to those in far away places like Ebbanad and surroundings.
Stating that the total amount of subsidy has gone up considerably, he said that so far this fiscal about rupees 10 crores has been disbursed. The total amount disbursed during 2010-2011 was only rupees 4.5 crores. Around 2500 applications are still pending.
To a query, Mr. Ambalavanan said that everything possible is being done to prevent export of sub-standard tea. The possibility of carrying out pre-shipment quality assessments at ports was being explored.
Export has for sometime now been stagnant. However with the number of countries consuming tea increasing, it is hoped that exports also would go up. The Board’s thrust on quality has become more. Consequently, the Nilgiris tea has developed in many ways and adulteration has come down.
Speciality teas are also being promoted among the small growers. To another question, he said that steps have been initiated to bring into being a separate directorate for the small sector.