The beginning of a new era of tea research in India was marked by the establishment of the Scientific Department of Indian Tea Association (ITA) in the year 1900. This was consolidated with the creation of the Tocklai Experimental Station in 1911. The formation of the Tea Research Association (TRA) in 1964 with Tocklai at the centre of all activities further expanded the horizon of tea research to cover the entire Northeast India. Research on all aspects of tea cultivation and processing is carried out at Tocklai Experimental station, Jorhat the oldest and the largest research station of its kind in the world. Transfer of technology to its member estates is carried out through its advisory network covering 1076 tea estates occupying 3,41,049 ha of land spread over The South Bank, North Bank, Upper Assam, Cachar, Tripura, Dooars, Darjeeling and Terai. Tocklai has its substation at Nagrakata. Membership is voluntary.
Since inception, Tocklai has been serving the industry and has become synonymous with research on tea in the country. It has unfurled technological knowledge in tea from time to time. The phenomenal increase in production of tea in N.E. India, from 234 million kg in 1951 to about 619 million kg in 2002, clearly undermines the impact of R&D. The average productivity of TRA member estates covering 75% of the total tea growing area of the N.E. India is about 56% more than that of Non-members in the region which is a outcome of effective implementation of technology developed at Tocklai.
Advantages to membership
- Advisory visits to estates for technology transfer
- Specialist visit for site specific problems
- Direct interaction between scientists and tea planters
- Supervisory staff training
- Training courses on Tea Culture
- Lecture courses for planters
- Analytical service
TRA was established as a cooperative research enterprise funded to the extent of 50% by grants-in-aid from Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), and the Tea Board of India and the balance from the tea industry. TRA was thus started as a CSIR Group of laboratories. From Ist April, 1990 TRA was linked to the Ministry of Commerce and Tea Board of India for grants-in-aid. The Ministry of Commerce agreed to a 49% funding and identified the activities to be funded.
The management of TRA is vested in the Council of Management which consists of Chairman, Vice Chairman and Fifteen Members elected by the ordinary members of the association, four representatives of Government of India including Director (Research) Tea Board, Chairman Tea Board, Financial Adviser and Chief Accounts Officer, Tea Board, one representative nominated by Indian Tea Association (ITA), the immediate past Chairman of the council co-opted as a member, three representative co-opted by the council from small gardens (up to 200 hectares) and Director of TRA.
Following are the persons who led the Association as a Chairman since 1964 :
|Mr I F Morriss||1964-65 to 1966-67|
|Mr A F Macdonald||1966-67 to 1970-71|
|Mr M Lamond||1971-72 to 1972-73|
|Mr S K Mehera||1972-73 to 1974-75|
|Mr S Prasad||1974-75 to 1979-80|
|Mr R N Deogun||1980-81 to 1984-85|
|Mr H P Barooah||1984-85 to 1988-89|
|Mr S K Bhasin||1988-89 to 1990-91|
|Mr V K Goenka||1990-91 to 1992-93|
|Mr Narendra Kumar||1993-94 to 1996-97|
|Mr A Borgohain||1997-98 to 2001-02|
|Mr N F Tankariwala||2001-02 to 2003-04|
|Mr Sudhir Prakash||2003-04 to 2007-08|
|Mr C S Bedi||2007-08 to 2010-11|
Present administration of TRA
- Mr. A N Singh, Chairman
- Mr. P K Bezboruah, Vice-Chairman
- Dr. A K Barooah , Director
- Mr. Joydeep Phukan, Secretary