Residential training on scientific tea cultivation begins

ITANAGAR, Oct 23: ‘Chai Paathshaala,’ a residential training programme on scientific tea cultivation commenced at Dorjee Khandu State Convention Centre here on Wednesday. The programme is being conducted by the department of trade and commerce in collaboration and technical support from the Tea Board of India, Regional Office, Itanagar and the Tocklai Tea Research Institute, Tea Research Association, Jorhat.
Trade and Commerce Minister Tumke Bagra, who attended the inaugural session of the training programme, informed that earlier jhum cultivation was the sole occupation of many farmers in the state, which has many hazardous side effects on the environment.
Informing that the state government has been encouraging tea cultivation in the state, he urged the resource persons from TRA and TBI to give awareness to the policy makers.
Bagra informed the state government had in the past tried coffee cultivation with the help of Coffee Board at Deomali area of Tirap district, but it could not be continued. However, the farmers can also try for cultivation of coffee, he said. He advised the farmers not to be discouraged because of the fluctuation of the price in the market.
Emphasizing on giving more impetus on organic farming, Bagra informed that the organic produces fetch higher remuneration in the international market and by default the produces of the state are organic in nature.
“Our aim should be to make Arunachal an organic tea state,” he said, adding that tea planters with the right education and right information on the scientific tea cultivation method would be the key to carve the roadway for such a mission to be possible.
Trade and commerce secretary N Tsering Glow advised the tea growers to take advantage of the training and give the feedback in writing to the department, so as to enable the department to address the issues and incorporate the suggestions of the tea growers.
Trade and commerce director Tokong Pertin informed that many enthusiastic and interested growers are venturing into tea cultivation in the state but couldn’t develop at the desired level, ‘due to lack of awareness and knowledge of scientific and systematic tea cultivation.
“The sole aim of the ‘Chai Paathshaala’ is to impart technical and scientific know-how on tea cultivation,” Pertin said.
TRA Consultant Dr. SK Baruah informed about the health benefits of tea and requested the participants to garner maximum benefit from this training.