Tea Board rolls out plant protection code
The Tea Board has begun implementing the plant protection code from January 1 to bring down usage of harmful pesticides and insecticides in plants. But small tea growers are worried a lot as they are of the view that the rules are confusing.
In a circular on Thursday, the Tea Board said all small tea growers will have to give a signed declaration to bought tea leaf factories that they have not used any pesticide or chemical banned by the Centre on their estates.
Welcoming the enforcement of the code, the Confederation of Small Tea Growers Association, however, said growers are yet to get a list of banned chemicals and pesticides till now. Pointing out to a September circular from the board that listed out 37 plant protection formulations, association president Bijoy Gopal Chakraborty said currently, only 33 such formulations have been listed.
Looper caterpillar, helpeltis are the major pests in tea plantations, especially in Assam and North Bengal. Limited formulations are insufficient to control these pests which could rest in huge losses to small growers, Chakraborthy said, stressing the need to expand the list.
The technical committee for implementing the plant protection code should be expanded and small growers should gen representation to address their problems, he said