Childaid Network

Family tea gardens

Assam is the largest tea growing region of the world with about 13% of world production. 7 million Adivasis work in the tea gardens exploited like slaves toiling under the glaring sun. Plugging leaves the women earn less than 1 Euro a day, too little to feed the family. Therefore, the girls need to join plugging early for the family to survive. Without school education the vicious circle of exploitation and poverty continues in the next generation. Together with the Adivasis we have developed concepts how to change this. We encourage families to plant a little tea garden on the plot of land behind their clay huts. For this our partners provide saplings on micro credit basis. Mobile training teams build their capabilities teaching them how to plant, how to properly prune and fertilize the bushes. After the initial growth period of 3-4 years the family can quadruple their income. This enables the parents to send their children to school instead of pulling them into child labor.
 

A good livelihood for the families in the tea gardens

Teas from Assam, the largest tea growing region of the world, have always been appreciated for their spicy flavor and are valued highly in the markets. The ladies plucking the leaves and their families, however, see little of this income. On the contrary: In order to feed the family many children have to work from young age. Although many families own a small plot of land on which they could start their own little tea garden, they lack starting capital and the necessary knowledge.


Micro-credits and training build independence

For the most part, families working in the tea plantations are of the Adivasi tribe, the indigenous population of India, who were taken by the British to Assam 150 years ago and are still discriminated against today. We help the families to plant a small tea garden on their own land. The initial investment of 2,000 saplings is made on the basis of a micro credit. With intensive training we help them to learn the best farming methods. 2014 as many as 520 families were already able to harvest over 150 tons of green tea leaves – and that number is growing fast. In order to achieve the best price from the factories, we organize the families into small cooperatives to coordinate marketing and distribution.


Intensive support and practical training ensure success

Our support helped to build a small tea-training center and to start a demonstration tea garden. There the family farmers can learn the best methods for tea cultivation and maintenance of their gardens. Gradually, the farmers manage the changeover to plantations with organic standards. In addition, the farmers learn how to produce organic fertilizer and pesticides. With these measures the farmers can quadruple their family income. As a consequence, they no longer depend fully on the income from bonded labor and can send their children to school.


150 Euro in seed money will help a family to plant its own tea garden and make it independent.
Ask us now about a sponsorship.

FACTS AND FIGURES

2014 Childaid Network supported

200 new family tea farmers,

the development of a

 tea-training center,

and a

demonstration garden.

Since 2011 already

family tea gardens were planted

using seed financing via micro-credit.

150 tons of tea

are marketed yearly (2014).
Tea farming families can achieve

four times their prior income.


SUCCESS FACTORS

 Careful selection and preparation process
Continuous support and motivation of tea growers
 Regular training sessions for consultants
 Joint purchasing and distribution organized in co-operatives
 EUse success stories as multipliers