The Tea and Coffee Board had made a comprehensive analysis of the problems of the small tea and coffee growers in the country. In the tea sector, more than 2 lakh growers are involved and they are concentrated in the states of Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Tripura and Himachal Pradesh. Of late, small farmers have taken up tea cultivation in other Northeastern states as well viz.- Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Manipur and Nagaland. This small tea sector is highly unorganized. Because of fragmented and scattered nature of holdings, small growers and the workers employed in the small holdings remain at the very bottom of the value chain.
In the coffee sector, there are 2.8 lakh coffee holdings in India of which 99% belong to the small growers category (holding 10 ha. and less) and hence, over a period of time, the strategies and programmes of the Coffee Board have been evolved to focus on the upliftment of the small growers sector through implementation of various schemes.
At present, there is no specific package for small tea and coffee growers in the country. However, a Coffee Debt Relief Package was offered in the year 2010 for the debt ridden small coffee growers and a total of 1,35,283 small coffee growers were benefited under the package with a financial benefit of Rs.293.45 crores to the small growers by the end of March 2013. As regards, tea sector a separate Directorate for small tea growers has been set up for extending financial and technical support to the growers and motivating them to organize themselves into collectives to establish one to one direct linkage with processing factories.