Go organic, Minister tells Nilgiri tea plantation owners

Union Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Giriraj Singh has called upon plantation owners to adopt organic farming practices to ensure that the Nilgiris teas remained unique and environment-friendly, and also to prevent chemical fertilizer-induced diseases among plantation workers.

Addressing the annual conference of the United Planters’ Association of Southern India (UPASI) here on Wednesday, Mr. Singh said the use of large amount of chemical fertilizers cancer among tea estate workers. This had led to a rise in cancer cases among agricultural workers of Patiala in Punjab.

Stressing organic farming and conservation of water in large tea estates, the Minister said unsustainable farming practices led to the depletion of soil quality and fall in the yield and quality of teas.