Tea production expected to improve from June onwards: Official

Production in the first flush season was hit in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, Tea Board Deputy Chairman Arun Kumar Ray said.

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The country had produced around 1,389 mkg of tea in 2019.
Tea Board expects that the production of the crop, which was severely affected due to the coronavirus-triggered lockdown, will improve significantly from June onwards as good monsoon is predicted by the meteorological department, an official said on Tuesday.

Production in the first flush season was hit in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, Tea Board Deputy Chairman Arun Kumar Ray said.

"Tea production will improve from June. We are expecting a significant quantity of crop in the second quarter as good monsoon is predicted. The yield will be higher than the previous year," he said.


Both quality and quantity of tea will be better in June, July and August this year, he said, adding that the logistics sector will have an important role to play in transportation of the crop to various markets in this critical period.

The estimated production loss will be between 100 and 120 million kg in 2020 due to the lockdown.

The country had produced around 1,389 mkg of tea in 2019.
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Ray said several industry bodies like Indian Tea Association(ITA), Darjeeling Tea Association (DTA) and Indian Tea Exporters Association (ITEA) have submitted their proposals, seeking a relief package.

"We have forwarded all to the commerce ministry," he told PTI.

He said the industry should try to increase production by introducing shifts with more availability of labourers.

The West Bengal government has allowed tea planters to deploy 50 per cent workforce in the gardens while the estate owners in Assam have been given permission to engage 100 per cent labour force.
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Regarding exports, Ray said the main problem is that exporters are not able to send samples to overseas buyers.

"International couriers are not functioning. Sending by ships is a problem because samples are opened at ports for checking," he added.
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