Silchar: Bad news for tea industry of Barak Valley as the production had declined by 1.4 million kgs in 2023. Even in neighbouring Tripura, the production too had marked a decline by 0.4 million kgs last year. This information was shared by the Surma Valley Branch of Indian Tea Association (SVBITA).
According to IB Ubadhiya, the chairman of SVBITA, production of tea in Barak Valley as well as in Tripura dropped majorly due to unfavourable weather condition. This had naturally hit the industry, already plagued by various other reasons and the tea producers had to incur revenue loss, Ubadhiya said.
Addressing the 123rd annual general meeting of SVBITA, Ubadhiya said, the average auction price had drastically come down by almost 5 per cent in 2023 in comparison to the previous year. “This 200 years old industry has become weak and vulnerable,” maintaining this Ubadhiya said, the overall scenario had been debunking the theory of demand and supply concept. He appealed to the government as well as to the Tea Board to review the policy of control and regulation.
The tea estate managements had a list of resentment against the work culture prevalent in the Barak Valley. The report that had been placed in the annual general meeting said, in the last decade, there had been a booster of almost 204 per cent in the labour wages but this did not reflect in the production. The report said, the social pattern in the Barak Valley tea gardens was completely different from the other parts as the labourers were occupied with their personal agricultural workings and only arrive at the workplace at their own whims. Further the migration of able labourers to other places had further added more problems.