ANI Photo | Heavy rainfall adversely impact production of tea in West Bengal

Relentless torrential rains have severely damaged tea plantations in the Bengal foothills. Tea production fell by about 25-30 per cent in the first week in the tea belt of the state, Terai and Dooars region in the Jalpaiguri division, according to tea experts.
Most of the tea gardens of the region are rapidly losing their crops. It is happening due to the land erosion by the hilly rivers. The rivers of the region are changing their direction very rapidly. This year it crossed extreme levels when the region recorded the highest amount of rainfall at the end of July.
According to the industry, most of the tea plantations are near the rivers and heavy rainfall has damaged the crop lands, adversely impacting the production of tea in West Bengal.
Expressing concern over the loss of production due to the torrential rainfall, Bijay Gopal Chakraborty, the President of the Confederation of Indian Small Tea Growers’ Associations (CISTA) said, “The tea industry is staring at grim days ahead and is faced with the onslaught of natural calamities, resulting in lesser crop. Moreover, due to the disruption in connectivity, logistics has been unprecedented.”
According to Chakraborty, West Bengal shares more than 50 per cent of the total production of India. But due to the erosion, the figure was expected to be lower by around 25-30 per cent.
“The region has already received more than 30 inches of rainfall which submerged many tea gardens. The rainwater stuck in the tea garden drains leads to less production”, he said.
Partha Pratim Paul, a planter said, “This year we received maximum rainfall, resulting in huge damage to tea leaves. Moreover, river erosion had become another headache. We are requesting the government to take positive steps to save the industry,” he added

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