Tea Board of India has asked small tea growers in the state of Assam to provide signed declaration of chemicals used for growing tea to factories. The move is to gauge whether the growers are in adherence with the body’s prescribed Plant Protection Code( PPC).
"The code will make Indian tea a safer and healthier drink and improve its competitiveness amongst tea farms and compliance with national regulations and international sustainability standards," said Dipankar Mukherjee, Tea Board of India’s North East Zonal Executive Director.
PPC was implemented in the tea industry this year and the list of products permitted for use has been prepared by Central Insecticides Board of India. It is a comprehensive guideline for safe use of plant protection formulation in the country’s tea plantation and industry notified by the Tea Board. Its aim is to achieve sustainability through good agricultural practices including integrated pest management, promotion of alternative control strategies to gradually reduce the dependence on chemicals.
Mukherjee also asked the bought leaf factories to discharge their role and responsibility while buying tea leaves from small tea growers as there are over 78,000 registered small tea growers across Assam alone.
"TBI has initiated massive awareness campaign through field level workshop, bulk SMS, putting up banners, distribution of booklets and pamphlets in local languages to make the industry’s stake holders aware of the guidelines," Mukherjee added.