Agartala, Tripura, is poised to witness a significant boost in its century-old tea industry as the state government plans to establish its first tea auction centre. Currently, tea planters in Tripura have to navigate the auction process at centers in Guwahati or Kolkata, often facing logistical challenges and impacting the pricing of their products.
The encouraging development comes after a recent visit from a NITI Aayog team, which granted approval for the establishment of the auction centre. The chosen location is the Durgabari Tea estate in West Tripura, as revealed by Chief Minister Manik Saha during the inaugural meeting of Tripura Institution for Transformation (TIFT).
The decision to create a dedicated tea auction center holds promising prospects for the local tea industry, offering planters the opportunity to secure better prices for their finished products. The move is expected to streamline the auction process, providing a more accessible and efficient platform for tea producers within the state.
The Tripura Tea Development Corporation Ltd (TTDC) has expressed its support for the state government’s decision, anticipating positive outcomes for the tea sector. With the new auction center in the pipeline, the TTDC is gearing up to advocate for subsidies in transportation and state GST. These measures aim to attract buyers from beyond the state borders, fostering a more competitive and thriving tea market.
Tripura boasts 60 tea estates, with a majority of 42 owned by private entities, 13 operated by co-operative societies, and the remainder falling under the TTDC. Approximately 80,000 individuals are directly and indirectly associated with the tea industry in the northeastern state, making it a significant contributor to the local economy.
The branding of Tripura’s tea as “Tripureswari Tea” in 2018 added a distinct identity to the region’s tea products. As the state takes a strategic step towards establishing its own auction center, the move is poised to empower local tea planters and elevate the stature of Tripura’s tea industry on the national stage.