Development and Plans for the Future
The cooperative desperately needs to provide occupational health for the farmers and pickers and to educate them about how best to treat and store the tea. Many workers are also unaware of the damaging effect of the sun’s rays while they are harvesting tea. They usually work without any sun projection for their head of skin. Headaches, skin discoloration and dehydration are the norm and are only now being regarded as an issue. An information campaign and education about the use of specific protection is planned for the picking season of 2014.
Parsuram, the president of the cooperative and specialist in the treatment of tea, will also teach individual farmers how to prepare the harvested leaves. He is putting particular emphasis on storing the finished tea so that its quality does not diminish before it reaches the customer.
Long Term Aims for 2020
- Make a further ten hectares of now scrubby land useable for tea cultivation
- Acquire and nurture up to 700,000 new saplings and distribute them to members of the cooperative
- Develop six more tea producing groups in neighbouring villages
- Develop appropriate education programs in tea cultivation and treatment for up to 500 farmers and their families
- Create up to 200 jobs in tea cultivation, accessible to the region’s poorest farmers
- Develop central and commercial tea processing facilities, mobile irrigation systems and negotiable access roads
- Establish the Jiri Tea brand as a well-known region for tea production amongst tea enthusiasts