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Coronavirus crisis: Tea output shortfall

The country had produced around 1,389 million kg of tea in 2019

By PTI in Calcutta
  • Published 26.03.20, 1:27 AM
  • Updated 26.03.20, 1:27 AM
  • a min read
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“The lockdown was inevitable as there is no other option to prevent the spread of the disease. However, the country’s tea production will be hit and this will lead to a collapse of the industry,” Tea Board chairman P.K. Bezbaruah said. Telegraph file picture

Tea production in the country is likely to fall by 100 million kg this year due to the 21-day lockdown which was “inevitable” to tackle the coronavirus crisis, an official said on Wednesday.

The country had produced around 1,389 million kg of tea in 2019, he said.

“The lockdown was inevitable as there is no other option to prevent the spread of the disease. However, the country’s tea production will be hit and this will lead to a collapse of the industry,” Tea Board chairman P.K. Bezbaruah said. It will take time to bring tea bushes again to the production stage, he said.

Tea Board’s deputy chairman Arun Kumar Ray said that the “likely shortfall in production because of the lockdown would be 100 million kg this year”, which could lead to a rise in prices.

“The impact of the coronavirus outbreak will be felt across the globe. The priority is to prevent community transmission,” Ray said.

With this lockdown, Darjeeling tea planters will lose first flush production, a premium variety, by around 30 per cent, Bezbaruah said.