Amid nationwide protests, Uttarakhand govt announces new panel to determine MSP for tea farmers

Amid nationwide farmer protests, the Uttarakhand government on Thursday announced the formation of a committee that will determine the minimum selling price (MSP) for tea farmers.

Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat during a review meeting of the state tea development board on Thursday announced that the MSP should be equal to farm gate price. Farm gate price is the value of a product received by a farmer without the transports and marketing costs.

Rawat said, “Four new factories should be set up in the state to provide market to the farmers. A committee should be set up to determine the minimum selling price of green leaves produced from tea gardens. This committee will determine the minimum selling price for each year. Tea experts must be employed in developing tea garden and finalizing the price.”

This announcement comes at a time when farmers across the country are protesting, demanding adding of a provision on continuing MSP in the farm laws passed by the Central government in September.

He also announced that the headquarters of the Tea Board should be established in the summer capital of Garsain. He instructed the district magistrate Chamoli to find a suitable land for it.

The chief minister added that tea gardens should be developed and handed over to the farmers. For this, an action plan should be prepared by within one month. Farmers’ suggestions should also be included in the preparation of this model. Technical expertise should also be provided to the farmers after developing the tea gardens.

“Efforts should be made to run private tea factories in the state for any reason. If the owners of private factories are not able to run them, then efforts should be made by the board to run them. This will create employment opportunities for the local people and provide them a means of livelihood,” added Rawat.

He further said board should meet four times a year. He said that tea gardens can play an important role in the tourism sector in the state. He also instructed the district magistrates to focus on tea tourism in the state.

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