Tea revolution can boost Nagaland’s economy and generate employment, says Neiphiu Rio
Langto Tea Industry inaugurated in Mon; product to be sold under Tizit Tea brand name
Tizit, Aug. 31 (EMN): Nagaland has the potential to boost its economy and generate employment through tea revolution, said Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Tuesday.
He was addressing the inaugural programme of Langto Tea Industry at Sangsa village in Tizit under Mon district.
Rio stated that all the state-owned industries had failed to flourish and even those functioning were incurring loss. However, he expressed happiness at the growth of private players in the tea industry.
Recalling that tea cultivation was first started in the state at Longsa village in Mokokchung district, followed by Tuli and then in Tizit, the CM expressed hope that the new tea factory, which was named after Minister P Paiwang Konyak’s father, would help the farming community and the public at large.
He lauded minister Konyak for being citizen-centric; towards generating employment and income, and his visionary leadership to help the people in the area, who were mostly the tea growers and small farmers.
Rio pointed out how the tea and coffee board had failed to flourish in the past but the effort of the people helped yield fruit.
He said that coffee from the state had created a feat of its own in an international arena — Germany and South Africa — being considered as one of the finest coffees in the world.
He stated that there can’t be uniformity of price on tea due to various reasons such as taste, quality and colour, and how it’s determined through auction and tea experts’ feedback. Relaying his experience in Darjeeling, which is known for producing fine tea, he said the tea grown in the Himalayan region had a different price because of its quality, and so too Assam tea.
Take up tea plantation, youths told
He lauded the farmers in Mon and Tizit areas for successfully growing tea without the help of the government and producing different varieties with varied taste, flavour and colours. He also hailed the people for putting all their efforts in this ‘labour-intensive’ crop.
Highlighting that tea is known for its medicinal properties — detoxifying the body, less risk of sickness and diseases, antioxidant properties and anti-ageing – he said that in order to expand the tea growing business, the British’s East India Company came into the Naga Hills, Rengma Hills and the valley areas and had transferred them into their administrative area.
He said there were different varieties of tea — green, black, white, brown – and that green tea had highest value in China, concentrating up to 50% of its production on it.
Rio said the government department should provide training to the tea growers and entrepreneurs to generate employment without letting people from outside the state to take over it. He added that people should be sensitised on benefits of tea growing and to generate higher revenues.
Stating that Tizit area had a high potential to grow tea, he urged the farmers to synchronise through organisations for exporting, instead of dealing individually in order cut down the expenditure. He encouraged the youths to take up tea plantation and bring about tea revolution rather than going outside for employment.
He also pointed out that tea plantations were flourishing in Mon and it had started in Mokokchung, Wokha, Longleng and Dimapur.
Meanwhile, the chief minister stated that among the Naga tribes, Konyaks were unique for their Angh system; for which they had been given the name ‘Land of Angh’. He also assured to work for the development of eastern Nagaland.
Farmers assured help
Minister for Agriculture and Cooperation, G Kaito Aye in his speech lauded the Langto Tea Industry for the efforts to empower the people of the area and described it as a ‘welfare industry’.
Terming tea as a sustainable crop that also generates employment, the minister assured all possible help to the farmers and stated efforts would be made to coordinate with the Tea Board of India, Nabard, and Cooperative Bank to educate and help the tea growers.
He also urged the district administration to oversee the law and order situation and ensure safe environment for the factory workers and the people.
Earlier in his introductory speech, Langto Konyak Angh said that he came up with the idea of starting the industry to help the people after seeing the difficulties, including irregularities of buyers from outside the state, faced by the farmers.
MLA CL John expressed happiness on behalf of the nine legislators of Mon district, saying that the industry would ease and help the people of the district.
He further stressed on the need for adopting work culture for a society to progress.
The president of Konyak Union, Tizit unit, Wangdun and president of Tizit Tea Growers Association, Honlem, also spoke at the event.
Earlier in the programme, the chief minister inaugurated the industry in the presence of legislators, public leaders and others.
Industry can produce 3500 kg of tea per day
Meanwhile, Sanjib Ghosh, the managing partner of Langto Tea Industry, informed that the industry was conceptualised by Angh Langto Konyak and his eldest son P Paiwan Konyak, for the benefit of the small tea growers in the region.
‘As of now, we have many small tea growers but we don’t have the manufacturing facility apart from the one which was set up some 10 years ago, so this factory came into inception,’ said Ghosh.
The factory has the capacity of taking up to 16,000 kg of green leaves per day, which would roughly produce 3500 kg of tea. Ghosh asserted that they would focus on quality leaves, quality production, and quality-made so that the factory and the people of the region would be known for producing quality tea.
He informed that the Langto Tea Industry would hit the market under the brand name ‘Tizit Tea’.
The official informed that the region had over thousand tea growers but the company would be associating with around 300 tea farmers mostly from Sangsa, Nangtan, Tizit and other neighbouring places.
He added that the industry had the permission of producing 5 lakh kg made tea per year while the revenue generation would depend on auctioning once it starts selling in the market.
Further, he informed that initially, it would be auctioned at Guwahati, while interested buyers if any, from the state would be open.
‘In the initial year, we will be focusing on the quality of tea and promoting to various forums especially to Guwahati auction centre and saplings to the buyers,’ said Ghosh.
He informed that at Langto Tea Industry, they would produce Crush, Tear and Curl (CTC) Tea which comprised of various grades depending on the size of particles.