Silchar June 25: Tea planters in the Cachar tea region are wondering whether they would be able to reap a good harvest this year.
The output of CTC variety has been dipping for the past the three years in Cachar from 56 million kg in 2008 to 48 million kg in 2011.
According to the sources in the Indian Tea Association of India (ITA) office here, such a declining trend in the production in the Cachar region was triggered by the dwindling rainfall.
The leading gardens with a dismal output level upto last month include Silcoorie, Pathemara, Larsingah, Dewan, Doyapur, Martycherra, Cossipore and Koomber.
The region has been experiencing bleak weather during the pre-monsoon and monsoon in the past few years, which had reduced the radiance of the sunlight and caused the much less photosynthesis effect on the tea plants that is necessary for processing the leaves into the CTC variety, the source added.
Even as the average price of CTC tea produced in Cachar tea gardens has increased to Rs 126.88 a kg, there is a sense of despondency because of the fall in the output across the estates in this tea region.
However, the average price fetched by some big tea gardens in Cachar is much higher than its average price accrual in spite of the adverse weather conditions.
Binnakandi, a leading tea garden owned by the Cheviot Agro Industries Ltd, in Cachar district, has now become a market leader by fetching Rs 178 a kg of its CTC till last month. Serispur, owned by Calcutta-based Rydak Syndicate Ltd, and Coombergram, owned by London-based Goodricks Ltd, have also got an average price of Rs 157 and Rs 146.69 a kg respectively.
Production-wise, Rosekandi tea garden owned by the Calcutta-based Bisseswarlal Mannalal and Sons, managed to produce 1,75,988kg this May against 1,45,002kg last year in spite of the adverse weather conditions.
The secretary of the Surma valley branch of the ITA, Sumonto Guha Thakurta, however, was hopeful that the gardens could be able to turn the corner this year as he made it clear that there were signs that weather would soon be congenial for a surge in the production.