The name Nonoi is derived from the Panimara Valley. Situated in the midst of Samdhara Garh, the valley was built by the Ahom King in the Ahom era. In the colloquial language of the British, the waterfalls were known as Noi-Noi and hence, the name came to be as Nonoi. The local name of the estate, however, is Rangamatti. The picturesque estate of Nonoi is situated in the foothills of the Karbi Range, in the Nagaon district of Assam. Located about 35 kilometers from Nagaon, the Nonoi tea estate is situated at an elevation of 225 meters above sea level. Spread across 959.17 hectares, the tea-estate sprawls over three divisions – Old Salna (239.82 hectares), Rungamutte (156.32 hectares) and, Nonoi (136.76 hectares). The estate stretches over 11 kilometres, from one end to the other. Tea is cultivated primarily on the plain’s undulating terrain as well as the hill slopes.
Earliest records of fields reveal that the plantation was established in the early 1940s. It used to belong to the Chubwa Tea Company. Later, it was acquiesced by the James Finlay group, which further, became Tata-Finlay in 1976 – 77. In 1983, the reins of the company were taken over by Tata Tea (later named Tata Global Beverages Limited). In 2008, Tata Global Beverages Limited divested from the estates and the Nonoi Tea Estate, then, became a part of Amalgamated Plantations Pvt. Ltd.
It must be noted that, the Nonoi Tea Estate is one of the few estates in the company to establish a poly-packaging centre in 1993. This was to package the tea stock for retail purposes. This tea estate is also the first to break ground on the diversification efforts of the company. Nonoi sustained the main business by setting up fisheries, followed by cultivation of Assam lemon and then, areca nut on a small scale.
|Total Tea Area||532.90 hectares|
|Total Production of Orthodox Tea||5.30 lakh kilograms|
|Total Production of CTC Tea||4.90 lakh kilograms|
|Land used for Lemon Cultivation||3.00 hectares|
|Land used for Areca Nut Cultivation||3.00 hectares|
|Land used for quaculture||19.45 hectares|
|Total Tea Production||9.96 lakh kilograms|
|Total Estate Area||959.17 hectares|
Garden Produce & Production Facility
Nonoi is spread across 959.17 hectares, with over 532.90 hectares under cultivation of tea. The tea estate has the capacity to produce 10 to 10.50 lakh kilograms; which comprises of 8.50 to 8.70 lakh kilograms produced within the estate and 1.50 to 1.70 lakh kilograms that has been purchased. The estate produces Orthodox Tea for the international market & CTC tea for domestic consumption, with the production capacity of 5.90 lakh kilograms & 4.90 lakh kilograms, respectively. The plucking season here, begins in March, runs through the rest of the year and ends in December; post which pruning takes place. The peak plucking season here commences from July, lasting till October.
The produce is manually sorted and packed separately, at the poly-packaging centre, in bulk for auction as well as private sale.
People Welfare Commitments
Nonoi has 976 permanent employees and, during the peak season, it employs an additional 1310 temporary workers to meet the demands. Furthermore, 62 staff members and 8 executives have been appointed to look after the administrative duties of the estate.
The estate has a total residential population of 5684, which includes the workers and their extended families. 637 pucca quarters have been provided with an additional 52 staff quarters as accommodation for the workforce. The quarters are maintained by the company.
Close to the labour colony, there is a hospital and two dispensaries, which provide them medical treatment as and when they need it. Preventive immunisation for workers as per government protocols are also methodically carried out. Also, to safeguard their health and hygiene, each of the 637 quarters is installed with a latrine.
Each of the divisions has worker’s clubs, which, in turn have been provided with carrom boards. Major events like Durga Puja, Republic Day, and Independence Day are all celebrated at the estate. Football competitions and tournaments are also arranged for entertainment purposes. Annual sports day and staff picnics are organized, occasionally.
For the children, the estate runs two schools in addition to the two government primary schools that already exist.
Art, craft & pickle making classes are given out at the estate. The classes are taken by a professional, who helps prepare the trainees for future job prospects, in the area.
Mahila mandals and other dedicated committees look into facilitating the community’s participation in different affairs. These are selected key women workers from each line, who help in taking the health and welfare activities ahead.
Additionally, there is an Estate Employee Council which gives the members the scope to interact with each other, discuss their problems and create awareness on various lifestyle issues.
The Nonoi Tea Estate has endeavoured to keep its commitments towards protecting the environment and contributing in its own way to sustain nature.
There is provision of electricity at all labour quarters with separate committees looking into the same. The estate has three transformers along with five gensets to meet the demands of electricity in the region. The daily consumption is monitored to keep it under a check. Regular shutdowns in the area help keep the consumption within limits. Furthermore, the estate has now implemented the use of energy efficient CFL’s across all bungalows and factories, in order to conserve electricity. The estate also has 12 solar street lights.
The estate makes Vermicompost from biodegradable scrub jungle and cattle manure.
Soil analysis is done on a yearly basis at the R&D section of the Tea Estate. Manures & fertilizers are applied in the plantation as per their recommendations.
Certifications & Awards
ISO 22000, SA 8000 & Trustea
The Nonoi Estate Staff members formed a co-operative society that manages & operates a grocery shop in the staff club premises. The remoteness of the estate and the rising price of items that was monopolized by local businessmen, prompted this initiative. The society operates at a marginal profit and provides good quality items. The co-operative was formed on 30th September 2010, with only 19 staff members. Sri Ajay Panika (Head Fitter) was appointed as President, Sri Babulal Karmakar (Division J.B.) – as Secretary, Sri Apin Gore (P.F. Clerk) – as Treasurer and Sri Robin Deori (Head Clerk) – as Adviser. A total of RS 25,000/- was used as a principal amount for the society.
The co-operative society’s sustained efforts bore fruit in terms of its annual sales. The sales increase every year. In 2011-12, the share capital of the co-operative was increased to Rs 97,000/-. At present the co-operative has a running capital of Rs 1.80 million, stock value of Rs 2.80 million (approximately) and investment on Fixed Assets worth Rs 60,000. The society now pays Rs 3,500/- per month to each of its employees.