The initiative focuses on enhancing awareness related to COVID-19, amongst the tea-plantation workers and local communities and help them take necessary precautions to stay safe during the pandemic. Training modules and short videos created by HUL to train frontline healthcare workers in tea estates on response and containment measures related to COVID-19 will be developed.
Upasi has estimated that crop loss in south Indian tea sector due to lockdown at 23 million kg worth Rs 314 crore. In addition, the association said, the unsold tea for domestic market and export as a result of the suspension of auctions will come to Rs 168 crore.
Kerala, which is home to several plantation crops, has borne the brunt of the loss, while the rapidly growing number of virus victims in neighbouring Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are likely to make matters worse for those states.
Tea Association of India (TAI) stated ‘The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2019’, is expected to be introduced in the Budget session of Lok Sabha. Earlier this Code was referred to the Standing Labour Committee after being introduced in the Parliament for garnering inputs from various stake holders.
Exporters reckon that as framing a new foreign policy will take time, the present scheme is likely to continue. Cashew export has been declining in the last few years with the rise of Vietnam as a major exporter of the commodity.
As per the association’s analysis, the trade deficit for the plantation commodities was Rs 5,716.64 crores with RCEP countries during 2018-19 , while the overall trade surplus stood at Rs 4,368 crore.
Wages, which constitute more than 50% of cost of plantation commodities, of tea, coffee and rubber workers have increased by 7.69, 9.72 and 8.2 times respectively.
Other points flagged by United Planters Association of South India were safeguarding the rubber growers from surge in imports and increasing the allocation of funds to Commodity Boards.
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