Small tea growers in the Nilgiris — who have been appealing to the State Government to procure the “Ooty Tea” for supply through the public distribution system — seem to be caught in the race between the governments of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, with the former confirming an order for distribution through PDS.
“Who is benefited in the bargain? Is it the ailing small grower or IndcoServe or Kerala?” asked HN Sivan, Founder-President, Nilgiris Nelikolu Micro and Small Tea Growers & Farmers Development Society (NSTF).
Tea at ration shops
While hailing the State government’s efforts in reviving the ailing Indco tea factories and it’s 30,000-odd member-farmers, Sivan said that he had appealed to the government to procure tea from TN Small Tea Growers Industrial Cooperative Tea Factories Federation Ltd (Indco) and distribute it free of cost to all the ration cardholders in the State.
“There are 2 crore ration cardholders