Mizo village celebrates Tea Festival
Newmai News Network
AIZAWL, February 23
[dropcap]B[/dropcap]iate village in Champhai district of Mizoram celebrated a grand Tea Festival yesterday.
Large number of people from Aizawl and other parts of the State joined the villagers for the tea festival, which was celebrated with pomp and gaiety.
Biate village had started tea cultivation since around 1918 under the initiative of Thangchuanga, the son of the village Chief Lal Kairuma. In 1935, the villagers were allotted 1 bigha plot each of Halzawl hill in order to enable tea cultivation by more people from the village may. By the 1943s, the cultivation extended to Tuilut hill, which then becomes the main source of income for some families.In 1995, when Mizoram started New Land Use Policy (NLUP), 325 families of Biate village selected tea cultivation as their trade under Soil & Water Conservation department.
With the initiative of Industries department, the plan to set up tea factory has also been carried out to far extent. But due to several hurdles, such plan could not be materialized soon because of which many of the tea gardens of Biate village were left unattended for quite a long time.
However, in 2011, the Mizoram government restarted the initiatives for tea cultivation under its flagship programme NLUP, through which 115 households of Biate village were assisted for tea cultivation.
Meantime, Samuel Tea Factory also came to be set up with individual initiative. Concerned over the future of tea cultivators, the Mizoram government has also through NLUP assisted for construction of this Tea Industry by providing interest free loan of Rs. 57 lakhs. Such initiative of the individuals as well as the government has given new hope to the tea cultivators of Biate villages that Biate Tea Planters Society Ltd. also came to be formed with 325 members, out of which 172 are registered under Tea Board of India, official release mentioned.
In his address of the Biate Tea Festival which was held at Zialung Community Hall, and conducted by Kut Organising Committee Chairman H.Laldinmawia, the Chief Guest and Minister Zodintluanga shared his happiness with Biate Vilage which, he said, is reaping the fruit of Mizoram flagship NLUP. Under this policy, the farmers are getting monetary income, the Minister said.
UD&PA Minister Zodintluanga also highlighted several plans of the Mizoram government for the progress of Biate village Mizoram, which includes Biate sub-town plan, the Detailed Project Report of which has been submitted to the central government in 2012 and the same being hoped to be successful. The plan for Biate Water Supply Scheme has also been forwarded to the central government and is being processed by department officers, and in sports, regarding the demand put up by for assistance of fund by Tuichang sports leaders, the Sport Council of India will help, the Minister mentioned. The story of Biate village celebrating Tea Festival is spreading across the State, the Minister said, while urging the tea cultivators to work harder for more production to meet the demand of Samuel Tea factory. It is also necessary on the part of the village to take steps for extension of the area under tea cultivation, the Minister added. The Minister also advised the tea cultivators to approach Tea Board of India for available subsidy, adding, in the mean time, it is unfortunate that there used to exist some fake tea industry only through subsidy.
He exhorted the tea cultivators to sincerely work for the progress of tea industry in Mizoram, and thereby creating a stable source of earning for the future generation.