The tea producing belt of north India, comprising the regions of Assam and North Bengal, has been battered by the severe rainfall, according to Tea Association of India (TAI), an apex body of tea planters of the country.
A spokesman of TAI said that the north India region produces 81 per cent of the country’s total tea production.
The crop declined 11 per cent in Assam in June 2022 at 76.87 million kg from 86.37 million kg in the same month of previous year. In Barak Valley, the crop decreased to 4.26 million kg in June 2022 as against 4.26 million kg in the previous year same month of 2021 at 5.08 million kg, showing a decline of 16.14 per cent, the TAI said.
In Dooars region of West Bengal, the crop decreased to 21.92 million kg in June, 2022, as compared to 27.75 million kg in June 2021, reflecting a fall of 21.01 per cent. Terai crop also showed a decrease 19.03 per cent in June 2022 at 17.15 million kg as against 21.18 million kg in June 2021, the spokesman said.
The association said concomitant with the crop loss in June, the industry had been affected by the rise in daily wages by Rs 30 per worker in North Bengal.
TAI said there had been a drop in CTC tea prices in May in the regions of Brahmaputra and Barak Valley in Assam and Dooars and Terai areas on West Bengal by approximately 15 per cent. The association said this situation is affecting the viability of the industry to a large extent.
Presently, the daily minimum wage in West Bengal is at Rs 232 per worker, secretary general of TAI Prabir Bhattacharya said. He said the minimum wage in Assam is Rs 205, which is to be increased any moment.
Impact is the rise in the cost of production which is affecting the viability of the industry, he added.