1. Agriculture World

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development helps modernize Indco tea factories at Rs. 18.54 crore

Prity Barman
Prity Barman
Tea
Tea Estate

With the help of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), tea factories in the cooperative sector in The Nilgiris, named Indco tea factories, are embarking on major modernization balancing technology with the tradition of eco-friendly production. 

'NABARD will facilitate five Indco factories with a modernization payout of 18.54 crore, NABARD Chairman G R Chintala said. The Eco-Restoration Scheme was inaugurated at the Indco factory in the village of Kattabettu, near Coonoor. 

Chintala said the environment around Kattabettu has experienced major changes since the project began in September. 'Although Kattabettu factory is the first of the 16 factories under this scheme, eco-restoration work is also underway in the Mahalinga Indco factory,' said Supriya Sahu, Tamil Nadu's Chief Secretary, who is also Indcoserve's Chief Executive Officer (the apex body of Indco factories). 

The eco-restoration of the Kattabettu factory was a joint venture of Indcoserve and Keystone Foundation, an NGO.  

Supriya Sahu has suggested that Indcoserve will become a lead in encouraging the cultivation of eco friendly tea. This is important because in the Nilgiris Biosphere, which stretches over 5,200 square kilometers with unique flora and fauna in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka, more than 200 tea factories run. As a result, she stressed, these tea factories share responsibility for protecting this ecosystem by implementing eco-sustainable development practices. 

Disclosing the clearance of exotic plants in the area and the planting of shola trees as part of this programme, she said that a Wetlands Park and an Information Centre were set up to raise awareness for the benefit of the general public.  

'As far as modernisation is concerned, the Kattabett tea factory has been upgraded to produce high-quality teas, including specialty teas, to provide small farmers with a national and international forum for tea. This involves a state-of-the-art tea tasting room and conference facilities to encourage consumers to taste the teas on site themselves, Supriya Sahu said. 

Collector Innocent Divya of the Nilgiris district said tea factories should concentrate on saving the environment and helping farmers get better prices. Shanthi Ramu urged IndcoserveCoonoor MLA, to modernize all 16 factories. 

Chintala has opened a cafeteria serving teas from Indco factories at Kattabettu 'Indco's Tea House'. This is the second such outlet, the first being the one that opened in November 2020 in Coonoor. Sivakumar, Chairman of Indcoserve, and Sumathi, Chairman of Kattabettu Indco Factory were also present.

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