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Lack of sunshine threatens to hit tea output

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  18 Jun 2015 12:00 AM GMT

2011 - 581.26 million kgs
2012 - 588.14 million kgs
2013 - 629.05 million kgs
2014 - 572.28 million kgs

By Our staff Reporter

Guwahati, June 17: Erratic climate is threatening to impact tea production in Assam for the second consecutive year.

Though the State has received plenty of rainfall, including pre-monsoon showers, this year, yet lack of adequate sunshine has caused worry among planters of the prized crop.

Rainfall in the State this month has been 80 per cent more than normal. Cloudy weather has been persistent since the onset of the pre-monsoon showers in mid-April.

"There has been good rainfall in Upper Assam so far, but the sunshine has been less. However, it is too early to say if it would affect production this year," says Dipankar Mukherjee, Tea Board of India's North East Zol Executive Director.

The May - June period is crucial for tea production.

From January to March, the State has already recorded a drop in the tea output as compared to last year. This year, the production in the first three months was 13.32 million kgs as compared to 17.40 million kgs in the corresponding period last year.

"We are of course worried. This is the peak season. The rainfall has been good, but there is lack of sunshine which might affect the yield," says Satan Barman, a mager of a tea garden in Kaliabor.

Last year too, there was a drop in tea production in Assam. The State had produced 572.28 million kgs last year, as compared to 629.05 million kgs the previous year. The drop was blamed on dry weather conditions.

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