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03-05-2012, 08:50 PM #1
Scanty rainfall likely to hit West Bengalís tea production
Tea producers in West Bengalís Silguri District have warned of low production output owing to erratic weather conditions coupled with low productivity.
Traders said low rainfall between the months of December to February is likely to pull down the quality and quantity of first harvest.
Traders fear that this might also affect exports, which is a major revenue earner for the tea estates owner.
ďLast year, the market was good and it was a good period for the industry but this year, the crop is late because this year we have not received rainfall, just a few showers were there, which is not enough for the crop. So, mostly producers are dependent on irrigation and irrigation facility is not available at all places and is too costly. So, the crop this year is late and the quality has deteriorated,Ē said Kamal Kumar Tiwari, a tea trader.
According to the Indian Tea Board, there has been a 75 percent decline in the production of tea in Terai and Dooars region, as compared to last year.
Traders said the prices of tea are expected to shoot up because of the increased cost of production.
ďDay and night the irrigation process is on because rainfall was scanty and to meet up the water demand we have no other option, other than the irrigation process. And because of this process the cost of production in increasing, the prices of tea will be fixed according to the cost of production. So, I feel that the prices of tea will increase this year,Ē said Prabir Kumar Seal, another tea trader.
India is one of the major producers and exporters of tea in the world market.
Out of the total produce of south India, 50 percent is exported to various countries across the globe.