There are five statutory Commodity Boards under the Department of Commerce. These Boards are responsible for production, development and export of tea, coffee, rubber, spices and tobacco.
The Coffee Board is a statutory organisation constituted under Section (4) of the Coffee Act, 1942 and functions under the administrative control of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. The Board comprises 33 Members including the Chairperson, who is the Chief Executive and functions from Bangalore. The remaining 32 Members representing various interests are appointed as per provisions under Section 4(2) of the Coffee Act read with Rule 3 of the Coffee Rules, 1955. The Board is mainly focusing its activities in the areas of research, extension, development, quality upgradation, economic & market intelligence, external & internal promotion and labour welfare. The Board has a Central Coffee Research Institute at Balehonnur (Karnataka) and Regional Coffee Research Stations at Chettalli (Karnataka), Chundale (Kerala), Thandigudi (Tamil Nadu), R.V.Nagar (Andhra Pradesh) and Diphu (Assam), and a bio-technology centre at Mysore, apart from the extension offices located in coffee growing regions of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and North Eastern Region.
The Rubber Board is a statutory organisation constituted under Section (4) of the Rubber Act, 1947 and functions under the administrative control of Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The Board is headed by a Chairman appointed by the Central Government and has twenty seven members representing various interests of natural rubber industry. The Board’s headquarters is located at Kottayam in Kerala. The Board is responsible for the development of the rubber industry in the country by way of assisting and encouraging research, development, extension and training activities related to rubber. It also maintains statistical data of rubber, takes steps to promote marketing of rubber and undertake labour welfare activities. The activities of the Board are exercised through nine departments viz. Rubber Production, Research, Processing & Product Development, Training, License & Excise Duty, Statistics and Planning, Market Promotion, Finance & Accounts and Administration. The Board has five Zonal Offices and 43 Regional Offices. It has a Central Rubber Research Institute in Kottayam and 10 regional research stations located in various rubber growing states of the country. It also has a Rubber Training Institute located at Kottayam.
Tea Board was set up as a statutory body on 1st April, 1954 as per Section (4) of the Tea Act, 1953. As an apex body, it looks after the overall development of the tea industry. The Board is headed by a Chairman and consists of 30 Members appointed by the Government of India representing various interests pertaining to tea industry. The Board’s Head Office is situated in Kolkata and there are two Zonal offices-one each in North Eastern Region at Jorhat in Assam and in Southern Region at Coonoor in Tamil Nadu. Besides, there are fifteen regional offices spread over in all the major tea growing states and four metros. For the purpose of tea promotion, three overseas offices are located at London, Moscow and Dubai. During the year under report a separate directorate has been established to look after the developmental needs of the small tea sector in the country. Several Sub regional offices have been opened in all the important areas of small growers concentration to maintain a closer interface with the growers. The functions and responsibilities of Tea Board include increasing production and productivity, improving the quality of tea, market promotion, welfare measures for plantation workers and supporting Research and Development. Collection, collation and dissemination of statistical information to all stake holders is yet another important function of the Board. Being the regulatory body, the Board exerts control over the producers, manufacturers, exporters, tea brokers, auction organisers and warehouse keepers through various control orders notified under Tea Act.
The Tobacco Board was constituted as a statutory body on 1st January, 1976 under Section (4) of the Tobacco Board Act, 1975. The Board is headed by a Chairman with its headquarters at Guntur, Andhra Pradesh and is responsible for the development of the tobacco industry. While the primary function of the Board is export promotion of all varieties of tobacco and its allied products, its functions extend to production, distribution (for domestic consumption and exports) and export promotion of Flue Cured Virginia (FCV) tobacco.
The Spices Board was constituted as a statutory body on 26th February, 1987 under Section (3) of the Spices Board Act, 1986. The Board is headed by a Chairman appointed by Central Government and consists of 32 members. The Board’s Head Office is at Kochi with Regional/ Zonal/ Field offices throughout India. It is responsible for the development of cardamom industry and export promotion of the 52 spices listed in the Schedule of the Spices Board Act, 1986. The primary functions of the Board include production development of small and large cardamom, development and promotion of export of spices. The Board is also implementing programmes for development of spices in North Eastern region, post-harvest improvement of spices and organic spices in the country. The activities of the Board include issue of certificate of registration as exporter of spices; undertaking programmes and projects for promotion of export of spices like setting up of spices parks, support of infrastructure improvement in spices processing, assisting and encouraging studies and research on medicinal properties of spices, development of new products, improvement of processing, grading and packaging of spices; and controlling & upgrading quality for export (including setting up of regional quality evaluation labs and training centres). With regard to cardamom, the Board’s licenced auctioneers and dealers facilitate the domestic marketing through e-auctions. The research activities on cardamom are also done by the Board through its Indian Cardamom Research Institute.