Despite COVID-19 pandemic, the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre at Guwahati has witnessed a sharp increase in tea sales in last two years.
According to the data of Guwahati Tea Auction Centre, around 360.85 million kg (36.08 crore kg) of tea was sold at the auction centre in the last two years.
Out of these, 182.98 million kg of tea was sold at Guwahati Tea Auction Centre in 2020-21 and 177.87 million kg of tea sold in 2021-22 upto February.
Before COVID-19 pandemic, in 2019-20 a total of 200.68 million kg of tea was sold at Guwahati Tea Auction Centre.
Dinesh Bihani, general secretary of Guwahati Tea Auction Buyer’s Association (GTABA) said that, COVID-19 lockdown in India was started from March 25 in 2020, but the Assam government and the Union ministry of home affairs issued orders granting the tea industry an exemption from the lockdown.
“The Guwahati Tea Auction Centre has received a good price in tea auction this year also. During pre-COVID period, in 2019-20, a total of 200.68 million kg of tea was sold at Guwahati Tea Auction Centre. In 2020-21, a total of 182.98 million kg of tea was sold at Guwahati Tea Auction Centre. The volume decreased because of COVID-19 lockdown as the tea industry was affected by the lockdown for a period of around 15-20 days,” Dinesh Bihani said.
“On April 16, 2020 the Assam government gave a special gift to the tea industry of the state as it exempted the tea industry from lockdown restrictions. During the period, the price of tea was hiked. In 2021-22 upto February a total of 177.87 million kg of tea has been sold at Guwahati Tea Auction,” he added.
Assam tea contributes 52 per cent of total tea production in the country.