Innovation Awards Aid Small Growers

COONOOR, Tamil Nadu

India’s Tea Board has announced the first competition with cash prizes recognizing innovation among small tea growers.

Prizes up to INRs 100,000 ($1,900) award for field and manufacturing practices that improve quality, conserve resources, and reduce costs. Second and third place innovations receive $1100 and $750

There are five categories for achievement:

The first involves field practices: Growers should prove innovation in cost-effective practices in nursery, weeding, pest and disease management, soil and water conservation, field design and harvesting. Cost-saving, good field maintenance and high leaf standards are the criteria.

The second recognizes innovations at tea factories’ in process engineering which improves critical parameters relating to withering, oxidation and quality of made-tea.

The third is growers’ innovation in mechanization for field operations. The stress is on cost-effective, farmer-friendly innovative machines requiring less maintenance for weeding, pruning, harvesting and other relevant field operations.

The fourth sphere relates to innovation in organic and specialty tea cultivation. Both growers and tea factories can enter this contest. The thrust is on new methodology for producing specialty tea. Improved productivity, top quality and high-price are the criteria.

The fifth sphere recognizes tea factories’ innovation in manufacturing machinery. The focus is on reducing cost as also extraneous materials to improve quality of made-tea.

Deadline for applications is Oct. 31.

Source: The Hindu Business Line