ITA seeks financial assistance from Centre to support struggling Darjeeling tea industry

Indian Tea Association pleads for financial aid from the Centre to save struggling Darjeeling tea industry amid plummeting prices

Published - May 10, 2024 04:54 pm IST - Kolkata

Tea garden workers pluck fresh tea leaves from a tea garden, at a tea estate in Darjeeling. File

Tea garden workers pluck fresh tea leaves from a tea garden, at a tea estate in Darjeeling. File | Photo Credit: ANI

The Indian Tea Association (ITA) on May 10 reiterated its plea for financial assistance from the Centre to support the struggling Darjeeling tea industry.

According to the ITA, the situation in Darjeeling is critical due to decreasing yields and plummeting prices.

Without a financial relief package, the survival of the Darjeeling tea industry is in jeopardy, the association said, adding that it has urged the government to consider and act upon a financial revival package endorsed by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce in March 2022.

"The association has urged the government to extend a financial revival package to the Darjeeling tea sector which has been already endorsed by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on commerce in March 2022. This awaits consideration and action", the ITA said.

The ITA, quoting Tea Board data, highlighted that adverse weather conditions have affected tea production in Assam and West Bengal, leading to a significant decrease in production.

From January to March 2024, production was down by 13.69 million kg at 96.10 million kg across the country, according to Tea Board data. Prices at the auctions have also taken a beating during the same period, the ITA said, adding that at an all-India level, auction prices were down by ₹16.08 per kg at ₹128.12.

Meanwhile, tea exports from India during January to December 2023 fell to 227.91 million kg as compared to 231.08 million kg in the same period of 2022, adding to the industry's challenges, the ITA said.

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