GUWAHATI, Dec 7 – Assam tea as a whole and the small tea growers in the State will be exposed to the grave danger of losing its economic viability unless the Government of Assam and technical agencies concerned came out with practical steps for redemption of the present plight. This opinion was expressed by tea experts in the meeting of the Swahid Maniram Dewan Trust.
The meeting held under the presidentship of senior journalist DN Chakravartty discussed at length how a group of irresponsible tea manufacturers were trying to dump the tea market with tea manufactured from below standard tea leaves.
Several members including Prof Amiya Neog, Indrajeet Dutta, Dr T Tamuly, Ashim Baruah, Bakul Bordoloi, N Mazumdar, S Baruah, while participating in the discussion regretted the attitude of the Tea Board to engage an institute of Bangaluru to train the small tea growers of Assam against the earlier practice of imparting training through the Assam Agriculture University and the Tcklai Research Centre.
They also mentioned the apathetic attitude of the Government of Assam which had encouraged an unscrupulous group of tea factory owners to promote indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers in tea gardens by a section of small tea growers against the present day international norms.
They expressed the apprehension that unless the practice of indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers in tea gardens is banned by the government of Assam, a day will come when Assam tea will lose its present market.
Earlier, Arun Chandra Baruah, working president of the Maniram Dewan Trust stressed the need for perpetuating Maniram Dewan's memory through the development of a suitable atmosphere for the growth of trade, commerce and industry in Assam.
Satyabrata Baruah, secretary of the Trust in his report dwelt on the steps for bringing out postal stamps carrying the portrait of martyr Maniram Dewan.
Mridula Hazarika and Bakul Bordoloi also took part in the discussion.