Aug. 23, 2012
Identifying unavailability of subsidized fertilizer to tea sector as one of the major reasons behind low yield of Indian tea plantations, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce has recommended plantations to be made entitled to subsidized fertilizers and all state governments to ensure timely availability of it for tea sector.
" The Committee feels that the problem of increased cost of fertilizers with no subsidy benefit is one of the main factors behind less productivity and also high cost of production. The Committee would like the Department to ensure that fertilizers subsidy is available to (tea) growers," states the standing committee report number 102 that has been tabled in Rajyasabha recently.
While India produces around 1750kg tea per hectare per annum, it is over 2450 kg for Keniya, one of the most important competitors for Indian tea in international arena.
"This is a common issue for all tea producing states in India. Tea plantations are not considered as agriculture practice. So, during indenting fertilizer quota, state agriculture departments do not include the
heavy amount of fertilizer needed for tea sector. Naturally, the indented volume always remains much less than actual combined need of tea and other agriculture sectors," said Mr B G Chakraborty, all India General Secretary of Confederation of Indian Small Tea Growers Association (CISTA).
"The shortage gives rise of artificial crisis and forces us to procure fertilizer at 30% to 40% higher price from open market. Around 10% of our production cost goes behind fertilize," said Mr Chakroborty.