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Hundreds of Small Tea Growers have been demanding reasonable price of green tea leaves. Jalpaiguri District Small Tea Growers’ Association (JDSTGA) today served a representation to the Assistant Director of Tea Development, Tea Board, Jalpaiguri region, on this issue. General secretary of the association, Bijoy Gopal Chakraborty, today claimed that the production cost of one kg green leaves was Rs 18.50 but the present rate is Rs 12 to 14 per kg in last 45 days.
“We have informed about out present situation to the Tea Board officials on 6 June and even 21 July this year, but no step has been taken to resolve the ongoing problem. Small growers have been facing huge financial loss,” Mr Chakraborty said. Assistant Director of Tea Board, who received the representation, has said the representation would be forwarded to higher authorities. Notably, at least 50,000 small tea growers earn their livelihood producing green leaves.
Small growers, by supplying green leaves to tea factories, contribute 60 percent share of total tea production in North Bengal region. JDSTGA has also demanded that the Tea Board should keep a close eye on bought leaf factories and stop entry of inferior quality of green tea leaves. The association also demanded that authorities should stop manufacturing tea from wastes. Small growers also demanded the Tea Board should allow plucking green leaves till 31 December this year