New Delhi [India], November 12 (ANI): Small tea growers will have the biggest role in shaping the future of the tea plantation sector in India, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal said.
He made the remarks on Friday while addressing the Indian Tea Association's (ITA) International Small Tea Grower's Convention.
The Minister appreciated the ITA for having played an instrumental role in the development of the tea industry, since its inception in 1881, 141 years ago, his ministry said in a statement.
He also applauded the ITA and Solidaridad Asia for their efforts to strengthen the small tea growers to ensure safe source of supply to the factories and boost exports.
"Chai is not just a beverage for Indians, it is an emotion, a symbol of unity and friendship. Serving tea has become a mark of respect and a crucial part of the Atithi Devo Bhava culture of India," the statement quoted the minister.
Further, Goyal noted that the Indian tea Industry is the second largest in the world.
India as a whole contributes 23 per cent to the global tea output and employs around 1.2 million workers in the tea plantation sector. Assam alone produces nearly 700 million kg of tea annually, accounting for around half of India's overall tea production.
He spoke of the Darjeeling Tea, also known as "Champagne of teas," worldwide because of its flowery scent and Assam tea, a symbol of India's global recognition.
The Minister noted that Indian tea growers are now spreading the aroma, taste and colour of India tea to the world. He said that the world has already tasted & appreciated the flavour of Sikkim, Nilgiris, Kangra & Assam teas and expressed hope that other varieties of tea would also open the world's mind and palate to more flavors of India. (ANI)