A scorching April is leading to more pest attacks, increased costs might affect wage revision, says Indian Tea Association
A comparison of rainfall data from the tea growing areas of West Bengal and Assam has shown a 25 to 49 per cent drop in rainfall between January and March 2014, compared to last year. Very low precipitation in April might dent production of the finest first and second flush teas, the Indian Tea Association (ITA) has said, adding that a lower production and increased costs might also effect the impending wage revision due for West Bengal tea estates.
Indian Tea Association is the apex planters’ body with 425 member gardens in West Bengal and Assam. These two states account for nearly 75 per cent tea produced in India.
When the April rains fail
Rainfall in April is crucial for the high quality first flush tea production in Darjeeling. In Assam and Dooars region of northern West Bengal, the second flush beginning mid-May produce the best quality teas. “Production figures for the month of April are yet to arrive but we might see 10 to 15 per cent dip in production,” said Monojit Dasgupta, secretary general of the ITA.
Read more about adverse weather conditions affecting tea
Rising temperature hits tea gardens in Assam
ITA’s analysis of rainfall data shows that while Darjeeling saw 37 per cent lower rainfall during January to March this year (compared to last year) in Upper Assam districts, the decline is as high as 49 per cent (see table: Rainfall deficit).
Districts- Assam and West Bengal
Rainfall (% +/-)
|Upper Assam (Margherita, Doom Dooma, Naharkatia,
Tingri, Panitola, Dibrugarh, Moran)
|Lower Assam (Sonari, Jorhat, Golaghat)||(-) 25%|
|Dooars (Dam Dim, Nagrakata, Chala), West Bengal||(-) 35%|
|Terai (Siliguri Sub-division of Darjeeling district),
|Darjeeling, West Bengal||(-) 37%|
|Source: Indian Tea Association|
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