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  • Faizal Khan

Indian tea industry: A new management flavour, thanks to small growers

Owned and operated by farmers, the Grassroots Tea Corporation could transform the lives of over 2.5 lakh small tea growers in India.


Grassroots Tea Corporation will start retailing its tea brands online from October 8.

Sanjarang Basumatary owns two-and-a-half bighas (about one acre) in the Barengabari village of Udalguri district, Assam. His mother and wife help him grow tea plants on this land. Every year, he would take the green leaf plucked from his tiny farm on a bicycle to the tea company in the nearby town in the hope of fetching a good price.

"We always got very low prices for our green leaf. Sometimes the tea company wouldn't want any more leaves, forcing us to throw them away," says Basumatary's mother Panchami Boro. "Life was difficult," she adds.

Like Basumatary, many of Assam's small tea growers who depended on the market's demand-supply dynamics today no longer need to lean on big tea factories for selling their crop. A new tea corporation where small growers are stakeholders, from cultivating to manufacturing to marketing, is changing the way the tea industry works. ...more

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