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3 Aug 2017

Darjeeling tea crop drops 89% in June

TH, 2 July 2017, Kolkata: Darjeeling tea crop has dropped 89.5 % in June, following total work stoppage at the gardens on account of the turmoil sparked by the Gorkha Jana Mukti (GJM) agitation over demanding statehood.

Figures just released by the Tea Board of India, estimated the Darjeeling tea crop to be only around 0.14 million kgs in June 2017 against the 1.3 million kgs crop of June 2016.

The trouble, which started with announcements of making Bengali compulsory in all West Bengal schools, snowballed into a major crisis following the clampdown by the state government on leaders and offices of GJM. The total shutdown began on June 15. The crop loss has almost washed away the premium second flush tea crop and there may soon be no Darjeeling tea offerings at the tea auctions in Calcutta.

Production has also dropped by 10.1 % in Assam, the Tea Board said. The state which accounts for half the Indian tea production of around 1200 million kgs, was affected by floods. Two other tea-producing regions of West Bengal, Dooars and Terai in the sub-Himalayan region, reported increased production in June.

South India also reported rise in output in two of its three tea-producing states. Overall, Indian tea crop was 2.8 % lower in June with a crop of 143 million kgs.

Small growers contributed 68.2 million kgs of the output denoting a rising share.

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