Agri Business

Nilgiri tea output heading for over 18% loss

P.S. Sundar Coonoor | Updated on September 18, 2012

Nilgiri tea companies have forecast a production loss of over 18 per cent this calendar.

“Till August, our member estates produced 8.46 million kg (mkg) against 10.36 mkg last year. This marked a decline of 18 per cent. We do not see any possibility of making up this loss in the remaining months. Erratic rainfall is the main reason”, said Suresh Jacob, Chairman, Nilgiri Planters’ Association (NPA).

“Some solace can be drawn from better realisations at the auctions. The average price has increased by 16.59 per cent in the south Indian auction centres. This is mainly due to a 64-mkg fall in global output and 28-mkg reduction in Indian output during the period. The price increase for Nilgiri orthodox tea has been only 6.84 per cent which is marginal to offset the revenue loss due to lower output”, he said

“Encouraged by the good response at the last Nilgiri Winter Speciality Tea Auction, we had planned for Autumn speciality auction in October but have shelved it due to volume restrictions. Our next speciality auction will be in March 2013 when we expect volume to double”, he told Business Line on the sidelines of NPA’s 121st AGM.

Tea Board Executive Director, R. Ambalavanan, distributed merit certificates to planters whose teas had fetched the highest prices at this year’s speciality auction. “Soon, Tea Board will issue awards for innovation in field practice, quality management, mechanisation, factory automation and process engineering to encourage knowledge-base for industry’s benefit”, he said.

“As Tea Board is undertaking baseline survey, planters should provide data in specific format since this will be the basis for future benefits. We will soon process applications for subsidies for machinery and Special Purpose Tea Fund besides for registration as authorised user under Geographical Indication”, he said.

UPASI President D. Hegde, highlighted speciality auction’s benefits while NPA Vice-Chairman K.C. Ponnappa, assured industry’s co-operation to Tea Board.

Published on September 18, 2012

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