Small tea growers will have the biggest role to play in shaping the future of the tea sector in India: Piyush Goyal

One District and One Product (ODOP) scheme to help spread the glory of Indian Tea: Piyush Goyal. Commerce Minister calls for modernization of the tea sector to make tea farmers self-reliant and to strengthen local supply chains.
Small tea growers will have the biggest role to play in shaping the future of the tea sector in India: Piyush Goyal
Photo - Asantha Abeysooriya on Unsplash

Piyush Goyal urges the tea industry to promote organic and GI tea through brand promotion and marketing.

Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution and Textiles, Piyush Goyal said that small tea growers will have the biggest role to play in shaping the future of the tea sector in India. He was addressing the Indian Tea Association’s (ITA) International Small Tea Grower's Convention. 

The Minister appreciated the ITA for having played an instrumental role in the development of the tea industry, since its inception in 1881, 141 years ago. He also applauded the ITA and Solidaridad Asia for their efforts to strengthen the small tea growers for ensuring a safe source of supply to the factories and to boost exports.

Goyal noted that tea is an integral part of Indian heritage. He said that Chai is not just tea made in Indian style - it essentially is India in a teacup. “Chai is not just a beverage for Indians, it is an emotion, a symbol of unity and friendship. Serving tea has become a mark of respect and a crucial part of the Atithi Devo Bhava culture of India," he added. 

Goyal noted that the Indian tea Industry is 2nd largest in the world. He spoke of the Darjeeling Tea, also known as the "Champagne of teas," worldwide because of its flowery scent and Assam tea, a symbol of India’s global recognition.

The Minister stressed that the tea sector had played a pivotal role in employment generation in the country. “Not just the growers, producers, and exporters, but also various startups and business models have emerged solely based on tea," he said. 

Goyal said that the government as an enabler has taken various steps to support our small tea growers, such as the implementation of the online licensing system, auto-renewal of three types of licenses i.e., exporter license, tea waste license, and tea warehouse license, etc.  He said that Darjeeling Tea was the 1st GI Tag product, now 2 other variants of it Green & White also hold GI Tags. Development of the Chai Sahyog mobile app is another landmark of the Indian tea ecosystem, he added. 

The Minister noted that Indian tea growers are now spreading the aroma, taste, and color of Indian tea to the world. He said that the world has already tasted & appreciated the flavor of Sikkim, Nilgiris, Kangra & Assam teas and expressed hope that other varieties of tea would also open the world's mind and palate to more flavors of India.

Goyal said that the One District and One Product (ODOP) scheme will give the impetus to spread the glory of Indian Tea. 

He added that to make the tea sector profitable, viable, and sustainable, we must enhance the ‘AROMA’ of tea;  

  • Assistance: Support small growers to improve quality with sustainability, Increase production to meet domestic and international demand.

  • Re-energise: Create infrastructure to augment exports and focus on high-value markets such as the EU, Canada, South America & Middle East.

  • Organic: Promote organic and GI tea through brand promotion and marketing.

  • Modernisation: To enable tea farmers to become self-reliant and strengthen local supply chains.

  • Adaptability: Focus on the importance of a risk-proof ecosystem, that is, the need for sustainable solutions to make tea plantations meet the challenges of climate change.

The Minister quipped that the path to heaven passed through a teapot and said that the path to a developed & Aatmanirbhar Bharat passed through the grounds of every tea plantation in the country.

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