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North Bengal Tea Industry Faces Crisis Due To Heat Wave

North Bengal has experienced a lack of rainfall in recent months, causing significant drying. Some tea gardens have resorted to using artificial irrigation systems to sustain the bushes

Tea production declines in Assam and Bengal due to low rainfall
Tea thrives best in temperatures between 28-30 degrees Celsius. Any temperature above this range is unfavorable for tea growth said Satish Mitruka, a tea planter from Siliguri

Siliguri: As several parts of the country grapple with the ongoing heat wave, the situation poses serious challenges for the tea industry in North Bengal. In the region, there are 500 tea gardens, which collectively contributed around 640 million kg of tea last year. However, certain districts of North Bengal are experiencing high temperatures, adversely affecting the tea crop. Under these conditions, the tea bushes turn red, and leaf growth ceases, leading to a 30-35 percent crop shortage in the industry.

Furthermore, the region has experienced a lack of rainfall in recent months, causing significant drying. Some tea gardens have resorted to using artificial irrigation systems to sustain the bushes.

Satish Mitruka, a tea planter from Siliguri, emphasized that tea thrives best in temperatures between 28-30 degrees Celsius, both for quality and quantity. Any temperature above this range is unfavorable for tea growth.

Mr Mitruka said,

Tea is a rain feat crop. If rain comes the industry will sustain, otherwise it will not be sustainable. The industry is feeling unwanted temperate growth, resulting in crop shortage up to 35 percent which will disturb the future market of tea. If the same situation goes on for the next ten days and the region does not receive any rainfall, the shortage will be around 50 percent.

Also Read: Heatwave Intensifies Across Gujarat, Karnataka; Temperature To Remain Above 40 Degrees

Niraj Poddar, another tea planter from Siliguri, expressed concerns about the challenges facing the tea industry, primarily stemming from excessive temperatures and insufficient rainfall.

Niraj Poddar said,

The tea industry is passing through a severe hit due to the unwanted temperature and lack of rainfall. The industry is producing the best quality of tea in the first flush and the second flush which comes during this season. But due to the massive shortage of rainfall, the industry has been thrown into a big problem. Moreover, the tea bushes are not prepared to face maximum temperature. That is why the bushes are not able to give leaves. It’s a great concern for the entire industry and in this situation we can only pray for rain and normal temperature.

Professor Partha Pratim Roy from the Geography Department at Siliguri College said that while the region experienced some rainfall last year, there has been a complete absence of rainfall so far this year.

Professor Roy said,

Lack of precipitation is extremely bad for the tea industry and adversely affects leaf growth.

Also Read: Severe Heat Wave Forecast In West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Wednesday (May 1) said that most parts of the country are likely to record above-normal maximum temperatures in May.

The weather department has issued a red alert for severe heatwave conditions in Gangetic West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar, and Jharkhand for Wednesday and Thursday.

Heat wave conditions are likely at many places with severe heatwave conditions likely at one or two places over East and West Burdwan, Birbhum, Murshidabad, Bankura, Purulia, Jhargram, West Midnapore districts of Gangetic West Bengal, as per the IMD.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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