Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government today announced a slew of measures to boost to tea production and encourage small-time growers in the state.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa decided to increase the workable rates for small tea growers by up to Rs 2 per kg of tea leaves procured by Cooperative Tea factories in the state, an official release said.

“The workable rate given to small tea growers presently is low compared to the market rates, due to the old machinery in the cooperative tea factories. The chief minister has ordered adjusting the workable rate on par with the market rates, so that growers are not affected,” it said.

The state government has allocated Rs 6 crore for procuring tea from small time growers who are members in cooperative tea factories, it said.

The government has allocated a fund of Rs 5.46 crore to increase the production capacity of 12 cooperative tea factories in the state by replacing old machinery. Of the total 15 factories, 12 are producing below their capacity.

It also permitted state-owned tea producer INDCOSERVE to spend Rs 54 lakh from its fund to renovate its old buildings.

Tamil Nadu is one of the largest growers of tea in the country.