Guwahati, Jan 11 (Agencies): A tea park with state-of-the-art facilities and of international standard was required for value addition in Guwahati.

"A Tea Park on the lines of those at Mombasa and Dubai will help in warehousing, value addition, enhance export and trading and generating employment," Chairman of North East Tea Association, a constituent of Assam Branch of Consultative Committee of Plantation Associations (CCPA), said Bidyananda Borkakoty.

He, however, said that there was no justification for the Tea Park to be located here where the world's third largest CTC auction centre was located and 90 per cent of the North East's tea output passed through.

The State Government has taken up the process of acquiring land for the Tea Park near the dry port at Amingaon, but the process should be speeded up, he said.

Borkakoty also urged the Centre to upgrade the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre to an international business hub and the existing centre of Indian Institute of Plantation Management at Jorhat into a fully fledged Institute.

Borkakoty urged the Centre to promote per capita domestic consumption of tea in India, which is only 730 gm, by taking up sustained generic schemes.

The emergence of the small tea growers sector was another significant development with the Assam Government recording 70,000 small holdings in 14 districts in a survey.

There was, however, no credit support to small tea growers. "We urge the authorities to extend credit to them as well," Borkakoty said.

Besides, schemes should be taken up by the Tea Board for small tea growers, he said.

"A separate directorate for small growers should be created in the Tea Board with head office in Guwahati to address the needs of small growers and to give them technical assistance," he said.