Agartala: If everything goes as per the plan, Tripura may soon get a tea auction centre, the second in the Northeast after Guwahati. Stakeholders and agencies involved in the development and marketing of tea proposed an auction centre which will target tea produced in Tripura and lower Assam, especially the Cachar region, official sources of the Tea Board said.
Apart from that, the Tea Board of India is also planning to enable online selling of Tripura Tea which will be a big booster, said the official.
During the meeting, Tripura Tea Development Corporation (TTDC) urged the Tea Board to set up an auction centre here in Tripura.
“This will help us fetch better prices as transportation costs will be near zero”, said TTDC Chairman Santosh Saha.
“TTDC is very serious about the development of Tripura tea. In consultation with the state government, we have sent a letter to Tea Board India seeking an auction centre exclusively for Tripura and Cachar. Because auction markets of Guwahati and Kolkata are far away from Tripura”, said Saha.
After a long time, he said, the Tea Board has called a virtual meeting about the issue.
“I along with the Managing Director and board members of TTDC have attended the meeting. Around 50 other stakeholders comprising buyers, sellers and delegates from different tea associations also participated in the meeting and expressed their views. Some people have expressed their concerns over the issue as the auction centre of Siliguri had to be closed down due to poor quality of tea”, said Saha.
Saha told the meeting that despite being neglected for years, tea in Tripura has scaled new heights in the last couple of years.
“We don’t have access to international markets and the domestic market is also small if we compare it to the annual production. Our production is close to 90 Lakh kgs while our local market demand is 15 lakh kgs. The only option left with us is the auction market. But that demands heavy brokerage and carrying charges. If an auction centre is set up here in our state it will act as a big relief for Tripura tea growers”, said Saha.
The Tea Board officials, he said, assured him of support and said that arrangements would be made to sell Tripura Tea online. “Separate catalogue will also be issued for Tripura tea”, he added.
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