Posted by: Sujoy Das | September 1, 2010

Tea Plantation Management: Tea planters seek institute in State

The Assam Tribune Guwahati Aug 30 by Ajit Patowary

Tea planters of the State have demanded a permanent, full-fledged Indian Institute of Plantation Management (IIPM) in Assam for adequatelytraining the tea planters and executives in plantation management.

Disclosing this, sources in the tea industry told this newspaper that management acumen in day-to-day running of tea estates has become an integral part of modern industrial management.

Reasoning that the IIPM can help in improving the performance of the State’s tea estates to a great extent, sources said that the demand for such an institute is raised by the tea industry of the State despite the fact that it has the Tocklai Experimental Station of the Tea Research Association (TRA).

For, sources said, the Tocklai Experimental Station imparts training in technical matters, whereas the IIPM is meant for imparting training in management. Such an institute is important for Assam in view of the fact that the State produces over 50 per cent of the total tea produced in the country.

Moreover, NE region produces over 55 per cent of the total tea produced in the country, said the sources.

This demand was voiced at a high-level meeting the State’s tea planters with the representatives of the Union Commerce Ministry here very recently. Additional Secretary of the Union Commerce Ministry Ashok K Mangotra and the Tea Board of India officials also lent support to the demand.

The Tea Board officials said that running the IIPM in Assam with faculty members flying in from Bangalore would mean spending public money injudiciously, sources said.

However, the lobby, which is opposing the demand, argued that a full-fledged IIPM in Assam would suffer from dearth of faculty members. In this respect, they pointed out to the number of posts of teachers lying vacant in the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati and the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Shillong.

But arguing in the contrary, the State’s planters said that the State has sufficient number of retired tea executives and senior planters to serve the purpose. Besides tea, rubber plantation is also coming up in the State as well as the other parts of the NE region. The NE region is also marked as a prospective area for growing spices and coffee.

Tea industry sources are hopeful that the DoNER Ministry would come forward with financial assistance to set up a full-fledged IIPM in Assam.

It needs mention here that the IIPM is now based in Bangalore and the Tea Board is extending assistance to it. It had made a presentation on plantation management at the said meeting.

In the meeting, the Commerce Ministry representatives interacted with the tea planters of the State on issues concerning the 12th Five Year Plan and they also wanted feedback on many issues like the Rs 3 per kg subsidy to manufacturing orthodox tea, etc.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) also made a presentation on the mapping of Assam and West Bengal TEs in the meeting. The representatives of the Commerce Ministry also spoke to the small tea growers of the State separately, said the sources.


Responses

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