Assam

Assam Grants Smallholders Land Rights for First Time

Tea small holders in Assam will for the first time be granted land rights. Addressing a meeting of the All Assam Small Tea Growers’ Association (ASTGA) Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal announced on Sept. 11 that 78,286 growers will be awarded land deeds known as “pattas.” The decision will increase productivity and help improve...

India White Tea Production Expands to Assam

By Pullock Dutta JORHAT, Assam The best-known gardens in India producing white tea are in Darjeeling in the far north and in the southern Nilgiri Mountains. Taking an inspiration from the royal Chinese tradition, Raj Barooah, director of Aideobari Tea Estate is developing unique white teas in Assam. His teas are modeled on the...

Monsoon Floods Douse Tea Production

Tea-growing regions in Assam, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh are suffering staggering losses due to flooding that has killed at least 1,200 people among the 16 million displaced in Southeast Asia. Two weeks of incessant rainfall has turned the Brahmaputra River basin into a quagmire with millions of tea bushes underwater. As of Aug. 30,...

Mobile Units Bring Medical Treatment to Tea Laborers

For the first time mobile medical units (MMUs) will be deployed to provide treatment for laborers in Assam’s tea gardens. Under the auspices of the National Health Mission, 80 medical units made up of two vehicles each will visit 320 gardens in the 12 districts of the state to provide health services to the...

India Cash Crisis

The well-intentioned effort to curb corruption by enforcing traceability is wreaking havoc in the tea lands of India, where very few workers have bank accounts. The government’s surprise move to no longer accept denominations of 500 and 1000 as legal tender has disrupted the country’s entire economy. The decision voided $250 billion in currency,...

Tea Worker Grain Subsidies Will Continue

India’s Gauhati High Court on Friday intervened on behalf of two million tea workers by suspending the Central government’s order to stop supplying subsidized grains. The ruling temporarily permits tea gardens to continue a decades-long practice of providing rice and wheat to workers for a few pennies per kilo. Justice AK Goswami set a...

Assam Govt Asks to Extend Food Subsidy

Tea workers in Assam are waiting for a response to an appeal by local government to delay a federal decision that would suspend distribution of food grains at tea gardens. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to continue to provide rations until provisions of the national Food Security Act are implemented...

Wagh Bakri Pledges Finances for Assam Lab

GUWAHATI, Assam – Wagh Bakri Group, India’s third largest supplier of packet tea, has answered a government call for tea industry support by pledging financial assistance for a quality control laboratory for small Assam growers. Smallholders that produce 30% of India’s tea do not have ready access to facilities to test samples of processed...

World Bank Investigates Plantation Practices in Assam

NEW DEHLI, India — The World Bank has launched an investigation into labor practices on several Assam tea estates managed by Amalgamated Plantations Private Ltd. (APPL). Tata Global Beverages, which finances APPL operations, has denied any violation of worker rights at its 24 tea estates.  Tata is best known for its Tetley Tea brand....

Assam Needs More Energy For Production

The Assam Tea Planters’ Association (ATPA) is seeking a solution to their energy needs, as reported by The Economic Times. Rajib Barooah, Chairman of the ATPA, has stated, “We earnestly request Oil India Ltd. ONGC and the Assam Gas Company Ltd. to find a solution to this problem. “He continued, “Considering the dismal power supply position...