Traditionally tea is being cultivated as a peasant crop in many countries of the world.It is grown in small scale by the farmers. However, here in Assam you will see a different picture. After the introduction of tea in Assam by the British during 1840s, they had transformed the traditional tea cultivation done elsewhere into an organized agro-based industry by planting tea in large areas. These were eventually termed as “estate”.In the long long history of tea industry in Assam, the local people remained aloof from the industry except serving in the garden as sub-ordinate employee, that too in very small numbers. It took about 160 years to catch the farmers of Assam to cultivate tea, even cultivation of tea in small holdings were already exist in many parts of the world including a few states of India like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Himachal Pradesh etc. The concept of Small scale tea cultivation by common farmers in Assam is very new. In fact, it is an infant stage considering the 180 years old tea industry of the country. The small scale tea cultivation in Assam by the common farmers may be considered as one of the significant developments in the recent times in the agicultural scenario of the state.
You will be given a brief account on the emergence of small scale tea cultivation in Assam, its background, growth and development and role in the Assam tea industry.