JORHAT, June 10: “When we compare land capacity between India, China and USA, we find India has one-third of land compared to China. India’s population is 1300 million while China has 1500 million population with land capacity which is three times more than India. On the other hand, USA has 350 million population with six times more land capacity than India, so environment degradation will naturally be more in India as population pressure is growing every day. Assam has 32 million population in today’s date, out of which half comprises of Bangladeshi infiltrators. Unless and until the border is sealed, the people from the neigbouring country Bangladesh will continue to come and as their population is very high with less amount of land capacity, there will be negative impact on environment. The tea industry will be victim. Red spider and mites are the major pests due to which 17 per cent to 40 per cent of crops are lost every year,” said Prabhat Kamaml Bezbaruah, the chairman of Tea Board of India and Tea Research Association during his welcome address at a workshop on ‘Integrated Pesticides Resistance Management of Tea Pest with special emphasis to mites’ which was organized by Tocklai Tea Research Institute under the aegis of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, at Tocklai, Jorhat on Sunday.
Global market for non-alcoholic beverages like coffee and tea is projected to reach 69.77 billion in value and 1057 million tons in volume by the year 2025 where the crop is grown in 50 countries round the world, but at the same time due to ecological imbalance and negative impact, certain spiders and mites have become a serious threat for tea-growing countries. There is need for a study to find effective utilization of chemical pesticides, to minimize the pesticide load and development of region-specific red spider and mites management packages for conventional and commercial tea gardens across Assam and India. A second alternative was discussed during the session of the workshop which will be used in the field to get an idea of resistance of the pest and to decide the dose and type of pesticides to be spread.
The technical session was chaired by Dr LK Hazarika and speakers included Kalyanjit Bora, manager R&D amalgamated plantation, Tata, Vivek Rajkhowa, manager of Andrew Yule Tea, Government of India enterprise.