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TT, Siliguri, May 18: A three-day international meeting to discuss the promotion of tea industry will be held under the aegis of the United Nations in Kenya later this month.
Bijoygopal Chakraborty, the president of the Confederation of Indian Small Tea Growers’ Associations (Cista), the apex body of small growers in the country, said the Intergovernmental Group on Tea formed by the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the UN would be conducted at Naivasha in Kenya from May 25 to 27.
“This is the 22nd session of the IGG. The previous conference was held in 2014 in Indonesia. Representatives of government organisations of tea producing countries, prominent buyers and other stakeholders of the tea industry will attend the Kenyan session,” said Chakraborty.
According to him, issues like demand and supply of tea in the international market, trends in consumption and the maximum residue limit (presence of chemicals in tea) will be discussed at the conference.
“It will be an important event for the stakeholders of the tea industry from all the tea producing countries. The FAO is one of the key organisations which work on several aspects of food and agriculture across the world. So, the IGG is of extreme importance as people from different corners of the globe sit together to brainstorm the problems which need to be addressed for the development of the tea industry and find out ways to encourage the consumption of tea, which is safe in all parameters across the world,” said Chakraborty.
He had attended the last session in Indonesia and is scheduled to take part in the Kenyan conference as well.
Chakraborty, who is based in Jalpaiguri, said he was hopeful that an international forum of small tea growers would be formed during the session.
“At the previous session, there was a plan to float CITS – Confederation of International Tea Smallholders – and some discussions were held on it. This time, I believe there will be progress and the forum will be launched. The forum can take a series of initiatives to improve the quality of tea produced by small growers and help them improve their socio-economic conditions,” said the small tea grower.
Some other topics like climate change and its impact on the industry and increase in the production of organic tea will also be taken up at the conference.