Specialty tea produced in Assam gardens continued to break price records at auction centers even as the tea industry appeal for government intervention for its revival as it was witnessing a crisis.
A kg of “golden butterfly” from Dikom Tea Estate in Dibrugarh district was today sold at Rs 75,000 at the Guwahati Auction Centre breaking all previous records. The tea was bought by M/s Assam Tea Traders, one of the oldest tea shops in Guwahati.
Today’s record at Guwahati Tea Auction Centre broke the July 31 record of Orthodox Golden tea tips from Maijan tea estate which fetched Rs 70,501 per kg on July 31. Maijan Tea estate is located in Dibrugarh district. A few days earlier, specialty tea from Manohari tea estate, also in Dibrugarh district, was sold at a record price.
Dikom Tea Estate, the flagship garden of Rossell Tea, has been producing quality tea since long. Last year, a consignment of 36-kg of orthodox tea from the tea estate was sold at Rs 12,001 a kg at the Calcutta auction center.
The GTAC secretary Dinesh Bihani told newsmen that the best teas are always in good demand and the buyers are always ready to pay a handsome price and GTAC has become a world recognized tea hub for quality and specialty tea.
Stagnant prices of bulk tea over the years have even led to industry captains to question the long-term sustainability of the tea industry in Assam.
While production costs continue to rise, there has hardly been a rupee increase per kg of tea, on an average since 2013.
Such has been the crisis in the industry that Indian tea Association has recently appealed to the government to immediately take over the employers’ portion of contribution to the provident fund for a period of at least 3 years, ban expansion of tea areas to contain oversupply of tea in the country and to fix a minimum reserve price for tea in the auction based on cost of production.