PPS Assembly: A Celebration of Innovation

PPS Assembly: A Celebration of Innovation

A National Assembly of

Small Tea Grower Societies

from West Bengal, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura and Mizoram

7 June 2016, Multipurpose Hall, IIC, New Delhi

 
 
Primary Producer Societies (PPSs) are registered collectives of small tea growers and have been formed and developed by CEC, based on the guidelines by the Tea Board of India, as part of its project – Sustainable Livelihoods for Small Tea Growers in India, financed by the European Commission. About 200 small tea growers representing 100 PPSs (out of 590 such PPS) who have asserted themselves in the tea value chain demanding fairer share of value accrued will attend the event. 
 
The event is a celebration of the successful functioning of these PPSs and aims to encourage them towards greater sustainability as autonomous institutions. It will also felicitate the most active and innovative PPSs, chosen through an objective and meticulous process, by rewarding them with computers and soil analysis kits.
 

 

Table of Contents

Invitation Card
 
Background Note
 
Progamme Schedule
 
Press Release
 
Press Reports / Press Coverage
 
Event Publication Text
 
Event Publication - Photobook
 
 
 

 

Invitation Card

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

Background Note

 
 

PPS Assembly: Celebration of Innovation

A National Assembly of

Small Tea Grower Societies

from West Bengal, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura and Mizoram

7 June 2016, Multipurpose Hall, IIC, New Delhi

 
 
India is the second largest producer of tea in the world. Tea is the second largest consuming beverage in the world and among the healthiest too. The Small Tea Growers segment has emerged over the last two to three decades, following serious structural shifts in the Indian tea industry, which was otherwise dominated by large tea estates. With less than 0.5 to 5 acres of land, approximately 450,000 STGs contribute 36% of the India’s annual tea production. But, despite their market share, STGs remain at the bottom of the tea value chain, isolated in the remotest and most backward parts of the country, in Assam, Tripura, North Bengal, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Meghalaya, Nagaland and the hills of Tamilnadu and Kerala. A large number belong to Dalit and Adivasi communities. Low education, skill and asset levels as well as isolation and marginalisation have blocked STGs from accessing fair opportunities in the tea industry. Their livelihood depends on exploitative leaf agents and other middle-men. 
 
STGs are unable to influence the tea value chain beyond the production of green leaves. Growers experience great fluctuation in the price that they receive from the Bought Leaf Factories (BLF), for per kg of green leaf, ranging from Rs.22 to Rs.4 in West Bengal and Tamilnadu; and Rs.22 to Rs.7 in Assam (2015 season). No such variations were reported in the Auction price during the year. Moreover, there is lack of transparency in the actual price realised since, among other things, under The Tea Marketing Control Order (TMCO) only 50 per cent of tea goes to auction.
 
Tea Board of India (TBI) has announced a Price Sharing Formula which stipulates the share that BLF must give to STGs from price realised for processed tea at the tea auctions. TBI has also instructed the setting up of District Price Monitoring Committees to ensure implementation of the scheme. Nevertheless, STGs have not been experiencing transparent sharing of the realised price. Moreover, though at the retail level, the value of per kg goes up 3 to 10 times or more, there is no mechanism for distribution of price realised to the farmers.
 
Since BLFs usually produce made-tea for mass consumption without restrictions on chemicals and pesticides use, they dis-incentive STGs from moving towards production of quality, chemical free or organic tea. STGs lack critical technical inputs that can allow them to move from cultivation to ethical manufacturing and marketing of high quality tea. STGs have nominal access to finance, technology and industry information. Consequently, gap between farmers and consumers widens, denying farmers opportunities for vertical mobility. 
 
To reduce the vulnerability of STGs, since 2009, Centre for Education and Communication (CEC) worked among the STGs in building collectives in Kerala and Tamilnadu under a NABARD supported project. Scaling up this intervention, availing the support of European Commission, (Contract No.DCI-NSAPVD/2011/260-631 - Sustainable Livelihoods for Small Tea Growers in India and Bangladesh), CEC extended its work among STGs in West Bengal, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Tripura. CEC recognised STG as a producer in this value chain, who must recognise this and bargain for a fairer share of the value accrued. 
 
CEC, in these states, has formed around 590 PPSs of 50 to 100 STGs in each unit reaching about 50,000 STGs. PPSs, registered under Society Registration Act, 1860 (as required by the TBI) has given STGs a functional framework to aggregate their resources, remove middle-men from the supply chain, increase their bargaining capacities with BLF, and report increased household income. STGs have realised Rs.2 to Rs.9 increase in price per kg green leaf by collectively trading through the PPSs. The PPSs have also acted as institutional mechanism through which TBI extends its various schemes to the STGs.
 
It is envisaged that even after CEC withdraws from the project areas, the PPSs will continue to engage in sustainable collective leaf trade and related activities. Affiliation to district, state and national associations of small tea growers, functional linkages with bought leaf factories based on transparent contracts, linkages with the institutional processes initiated by the Tea Board of India etc are means towards sustainability of PPSs.
 
To celebrate this movement of STGs and to encourage them towards sustainability, CEC is convening the National Assembly of STGs who are members of the PPSs. More than 100 most active PPSs from Mizoram, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu are sending their representatives to the Assembly. 
 
The Assembly will also felicitate the most active and innovative PPSs, chosen through an objective and meticulous process, by offering them computers and soil analysis kits.
 
 
Centre for Education and Communication (CEC)
173-A, Khirki Village, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi - 110017
T: 91 11 29541841 / 29541848;  F: 91 11 29542464
E: cec@cec-india.org; W: www.cec-india.org
 
 
 

 

Press Release

Small Tea Growers (STGs) from West Bengal, Assam and other North Eastern States press for better implementation of Price Sharing Formula by Tea Board of India and policy changes that help them to move up the value chain
 
Centre for Education and Communication (CEC) organises a national assembly for Sustainable Livelihoods for Small Tea Growers from West Bengal, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura and Mizoram
 
New Delhi, 7th June 2016- Emphasising their rights in the tea industry and highlighting a better transparency in Tea Board's price sharing formula, small tea growers from Assam, Arunachal, Tripura, Mizoram and West Bengal have gathered in Delhi. They have gathered as part of an innovative event - "PPS Assembly Celebration of Innovation"  - organised by Centre for Education and Communication, New Delhi, for celebrating the initiatives of primary producer societies and encouraging them for better sustainability.  More than 200 STG representatives who participated in the event, demanded concrete supportive measures from the government to set up their own manufacturing units. Many of these societies are formed by tribal communities and women from these regions.
 
“Within a month, Tea Board of India , through Ministry of Commerce, will come up with notification on guidelines for setting up mini and micro factories for small tea growers, ” announced Sri Santhosh Kumar Sarangi, Chairman, Tea Board of India, while addressing the PPS Assembly. . “Tea Board will allocate more funds for small tea growers. More subsidies will be given for maintaining their water sheds and transportation”, he adds. According to him, Small Tea Growers will have to grow up the value chain, become producers and participate in auction on their own. Tea Board will give them training in quality control and make sure the tea produced is of good quality. “Considering the global warming and erratic rains, more and more tea growers will have to encourage into organic farming”, he emphasised. 
 
“A win-sin situation will come when tea industry recognises small tea growers and forge sustainable business partnerships with them. More and more BLFs and Estate factories must come forward to purchase leaf from the societies giving them fairer price”, says J John, Executive Director, Centre for Education and Communication. He further added , “CEC has been working towards reducing poverty and improving income of the STGs. The present project of “Sustainable Livelihoods for Small Tea Growers”, supported by the European Union, addresses some of the key issues confronting the small tea growers. Organising Primary Producer Society (PPS) for direct collective leaf trade and improvement in agricultural practices are at the heart of the activities.  Over 590 PPS have been formed till date reaching out to about 50,000 growers. To reduce the vulnerability of STGs, since 2009, CEC worked among the STGs in building collectives in Kerala and Tamilnadu under a NABARD supported project. Now, CEC is determined to help those PPSs who are empowered and want to move up the tea value chain, taking definite steps to manufacture and market tea of small tea growers.” 
 
Sharing his happiness of being a part to the betterment of Small Tea Grower (STG), Johan Hesse, Head of Cooperation, European Union, said that “better trade and better bargaining process should be assured for the tea growers in India”. With tea board cooperation and the stakeholders support, he trusted a positive growth in the life of small tea growers.
 
“Small tea growers contribute 35 to 40 percent of the tea production in India and why do we still address them as STGs” asks Dr. Khan, NABARD, Mumbai. According to him, farmer must be at the centre and not one commodity. He emphasised that awareness creation and capacity building will help them go up the vale chain.
 
India is the second largest producer of tea in the world. The Small Tea Growers segment has emerged over the last two to three decades following the serious structural shifts in the Indian tea industry, otherwise dominated by large tea estates. With less than 0.5 to 5 acres of land, approximately 450,000 STGs contribute 36% of the India’s annual tea production. But, despite their high share, STGs remain at the bottom of the tea value chain as they remain isolated in the remotest and most backward regions like Assam, Tripura, North Bengal, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Meghalaya, Nagaland and the hills of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
 
In the event, 10 best performing Primary Producer Societies were awarded ‘desk-top computers’ and next 40 PPSs were awarded ‘soil analysis kits’. Mr. Pattabiraman Subramanian, Programme Manager, Delegation of the European Union to India said, “Desktop will enable STGs to keep accurate digitised accounts and records.
 Soil analysis kit will equip growers to obtain fertility and health status of soil and will help them to increase productivity per unit area by narrowing the cost-benefit ratio.”
 

 

Press Reports / Press Coverage

Tea Board to come up with guidelines for tea processors for small tea growers
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/agriculture/tea-board-to-come-up-with-guidelines-for-tea-processors-for-small-tea-growers/articleshow/52637061.cms
 
New guidelines for setting up mini, micro factories for small tea growers soon
http://www.uniindia.com/new-guidelines-for-setting-up-mini-micro-factories-for-small-tea-growers-soon/business-economy/news/510878.html
 
New guidelines for setting up mini, micro factories for small tea growers soon
http://newshence.com/new-guidelines-for-setting-up-mini-micro-factories-for-small-tea-growers-soon.html
 
Govt to issue guidelines for mini, micro tea factories
http://www.financialexpress.com/article/india-news/govt-to-issue-guidelines-for-mini-micro-tea-factories/276483/
 
Govt to issue guidelines for mini, micro tea factories
http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/govt-to-issue-guidelines-for-mini-micro-tea-factories/1/686283.html
 
Tea board mulls plant protection code to enhance tea quality
http://cogencis.com/differentiators/latestNews.aspx?newsId=66549
 
Tea Board chairman says pan-India e-auction to be delayed 1-2 months
http://cogencis.com/differentiators/latestNews.aspx?newsId=66639
 
Govt to issue guidelines for mini, micro tea factories
http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/economy/govt-to-issue-guidelines-for-mini-micro-tea-factories_6829441.html
 
छोटे चाय उत्पादकों के लिए दिशानिर्देश शीघ्र : चाय ब
http://ibn7.in/india-news-hindi/item/109035-news
 
छोटे चाय उत्पादकों के लिए दिशानिर्देश शीघ्र : चाय ब
http://vniindia.com/119699
 
Small Tea Growers Societies get CEC award
http://www.sentinelassam.com/state1/story.php?sec=2&subsec=2&id=273067&dtP=2016-07-07&ppr=1#273067
 
 
Consolidated Media Coverage: PPS Assembly
 

 



Event Gallary


  • Audience

  • The Team

  • Ram Delivering Award

  • Gunja Kirti, CEC

  • Pabitra Kar, ATSTGA

  • Dinesh Sarmah, AASTGA

  • Bijoy Gopal Chakraborty, CISTA

  • Award Distribution

  • Subhash Das, Ram, Maveen

  • Kukhol Bora, Assam

  • Ajit Giri, Assam

  • Prafulla Debbarma, Tripura

  • John, Sarangi, Johann, Ramachandran

  • Johann Hesse, EU

  • G G Koppa, FAO

  • Dr. Khan, NABARD

  • Inaugural Speech: Santosh Kumar Sarangi

  • Joy Chakraborty, CEC

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