Siliguri, 19 February: The Confederation of Indian Small Tea Growers’ Associations (CISTA) will organise a two-day conference at the Tea Auction Centre in Jalpaiguri from 22 February, involving persons associated with tea plantations in Sri Lanka, Nepal and Indonesia.
Director, tea development, of the Tea Board of India, Mr Soudararajan, is scheduled to attend the conference on 22 February.
According to the deputy director, Tea Board in Siliguri, Chandra Shekhar Mitra, regional officials of the Tea Board in north Bengal will also attend the programme.
CISTA president Bijoy Gopal Chakraborty said at least 150 delegates from India and foreign countries will take part in the programme.
The objective of the conference is to promote small growers and quality tea production. Experts from Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Nepal will be exchanging their views on producing quality tea leaf and tea in the small sector.
The small growers will also discuss their problems, including their plight along the India-Bangladesh border, where they are suffering huge losses due to theft of green leaf and valuable equipment.
In its mouthpiece Cha-er Katha, the North Bengal Small Tea Planters’ Association has reported that small growers along the Indo-Bangladesh border suffered huge losses after Bangladeshi intruders stole 100,000 kg tea leaf and equipment amounting to Rs 50 lakh. It was also reported that small growers have planned to appeal to the Union home ministry to take up the matter with the Border Security Force.
Notably, around 4,000 acres of land has been converted into tea plantations in the Indian part on the Bangladesh border, which falls outside the barbed wire fencing along the border from Manikganj to Berubari in Jalpaiguri district.
The Jalpaiguri district small growers association had served a memorandum to the district magistrate, Ms Pritha Sarkar, demanding that the menace along the border be stopped with the help of the BSF.
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