Tea Board has recently decided to help the small growers who are without income amid the lockdown so as to provide support in nation’s fight against Covid-19. Tea Board Executive Director M Balaji said in Coonoor, “We have credited to the bank accounts of 1,374 small & marginal farmers in South India sums totalling Rs 3.35 crore as subsidies under different schemes.”
He added, “This is in addition to the Rs 4.46 crore given to 1,344 beneficiaries on 6 March. Out of the ₹3.35 crore now disbursed, Rs 1.58 crore was provided to 716 small growers for replanting & rejuvenation pruning as well.”
A total of Rs 92.10 lakh was provided to 449 wards of tea plantation workers. 9 tea estates were also given subsidies totalling Rs 40.38 lakh for purchase of pruning and harvesting machines, under Human Development Resource Scheme.
Under the Schedule Caste Sub Plan (SCSP) component, total subsidies of Rs 34.98 lakh were provided to 162 beneficiaries. Adding to it, a sum of Rs 8.92 lakh were given to eight beneficiaries which are directly connected with tea-related activities.
Balaji further said, before the lockdown also, training classes were held for scheduled caste youths on computer application, & maintenance of tea gardens, tea tasting for creating employment opportunities for them.
At the same time, the Nilgiris-headquartered Federation of Tamil Nadu Crop Growers’ Association has appealed to PM Narendra Modi to order the waiver of crop loans. The Federation’s President Manjai Mohan, who is also a small tea grower in The Nilgiris, informed, “The farmers could not harvest their produce & sell them because of the absence of supply chain amid the lockdown”.
He added, “For over a month, farmers are in much difficulty as they have lost their entire crop. Meanwhile, the farmers are unable to repay their debts or interest on them. Farmers also including growers, have borrowed from banks & other financial institutions for their agriculture and allied activities. Hence, we have appealed to PM Modi to order to waive all outstanding crop loans & the interest thereon.”
SOURCE: Krishi Jagran