The small tea growers in the Nilgiris have appealed to Indcoserve to pay higher price for the tea leaves that they supply.
According to H.N. Sivan, founder president of Nilgiris Nelikolu Micro and Small Tea Growers and Farmers Development (NSTF) Society, the small tea growers, numbering nearly 25000 in the district, supply about eight crore kg of green tea leaves to the Indcoserve factories. With much difficulties, tea sales through tea auctions have just started in Coonoor. The average sale prices were around ₹ 85 a kg, including Indco teas sold in the auctions.
“Even though the prices realised now were higher compared to pre-lockdown period, the member farmers of Indco Tea Factories were paid only ₹ 12.50 a kg of their green tea leaves supplied by them during the month of March, 2020,” he said. For almost a month, there was no production of teas and now too workers are going to the fields with fear. The small farmers harvest nearly 25 kg of tea a day in a field. The labour cost alone varies between ₹250 to ₹400 a day. A farmer has to spend on inputs and fertilizers too. The Indcoserve should pay at least ₹ 18 a kg, he said.
Source : The Hindu.