Tea production in north Bengal this year so far had been hit by the continuing dry spell causing the loss in crop both in Dooars and Darjeeling, according to industry experts. “Tea production in north Bengal has been hit by the absolutely dry heat wave which is causing severe crop loss in Dooars”, former India Tea Association chairman and managing director and chief executive officer of Goodricke A N Singh said.
Singh said the situation was even worse in Darjeeling. “Darjeeling is even worse. Only 15 per cent production has been recorded in March as compared to that of the same month last year”, Singh told PTI. He said till mid-April crop loss in Darjeeling was close to 40 per cent to 50 per cent lower than that of last year. Since nearly 80 per cent to 85 per cent of the Darjeeling second flush crop was mainly exported, export earnings will suffer as Euro was down by 20 per cent leading to a rise in import prices.
“We need some immediate rains to make for the crop loss. If there are rains now, we hope to end at an overall 20 percent less crop in Darjeeling as compared to the previous year”, he said. As far as Dooars was concerned, timely rains now could reduce the crop loss by five to seven percent, he said.