GUWAHATI: Of late, tea production in Assam is showing mixed results. While tea production figures in October 2023 are better than the figures for October 2022, the trend was reversed in November 2023, with production going down as compared to the corresponding month in 2022.
According to Tea Board sources, the estimated production of tea in Assam during November 2023 was 63.27 million kg (Mkg). Of this, the big tea growers contributed 33.36 Mkg, while the small growers produced 29.91 Mkg. The corresponding figure for November 2022 was 67.04 Mkg, translating to a dip in production of 3.77 Mkg in November 2023. Out of the total figure for November 2022, big growers produced 33.23 Mkg while small tea growers contributed 33.81 Mkg.
By comparison, tea production in October 2023 was 104.26 Mkg, but the same month in 2022 saw a production of 92.72 Mkg, denoting an increase in tea production in October this year.
It is still not clear if the production of tea in 2023–24 will denote an increase or decrease compared to that of 2022–23, as some time is still left before the end of FY 2023–24.
In 2022–23, Assam produced 698.38 Mkg of tea, with big growers producing a total of 363.66 Mkg and small tea growers producing 334.72 Mkg.
There is deep concern about the fluctuation in tea production figures, which is primarily attributed to climate change. Tea bushes require rain and sunshine at the proper time in order to yield better quality and more tea leaves. The particular type of weather pattern conducive to tea production is changing in Assam, and this is leading to concerns about the future of the tea industry in Assam, the largest producer of tea in India.