Agri Business

Covid-19 pulls down India’s tea production; 152 mkg already lost

P S SUNDAR Coonoor | Updated on December 10, 2020

Covid-19 has taken a heavy toll on Indian tea production because of prolonged lockdown.

India is heading for a massive shortfall in calendar 2020 – this will be the first year in many years that the country’s output in a year falls below the previous year because, India has been producing record output year after year for many years.

“Tea Board has now released the official data for October and our compilation shows that the output in the ten months has nosedived to 1,032.68 million kg (mkg) from 1184.28 mkg in Jan-Oct 2019”, Rajesh Gupta, Compiler of ‘Global Tea Digest’, told BusinessLine.

This marked a whopping shortfall of 151.60 mkg or 12.80 per cent – difficult to make over in the two winter months of November and December when the harvest in the field will normally be lower.

The entire shortfall has happened in North India, while there was marginal increase in South India.

Lockdown and adverse weather pulled down the output in the North to 852.92 mkg from 1005.16 mkg in January-October 2019, marking a massive loss of 152.24 mkg or 15.15 per cent, Rajesh Gupta said.

In the North, all States have produced a lesser output this year. Assam continues to top the country’s production table but with as much as a 108.57-mkg dip to 514.54 mkg. West Bengal lost 41.04 mkg to slide to 314.91 mkg.

“South India, on the other hand, produced 179.76 mkg against 179.12 mkg in January-October 2019”, Rajesh Gupta noted.

However, this marginal increase was far inadequate to make over the loss in North India.

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Published on December 10, 2020
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