JORHAT, Nov 8 - Tea growers in Assam were losing the �First Flush� production as rainfall in winter months was decreasing and become almost nil over the years, said a senior official of Tocklai Tea Research Institute.
First Flush is the first plucking of a tea plant�s harvest season with the tender and youngest leaves plucked yielding the purest cup of tea that the plant is capable of producing.
Rainfall pattern in the past decade showed that due to erratic rainfall pattern the tea production process was hit resulting in a major loss of First Flush production, Tocklai Director N Muralidharan said. Due to erratic rainfall there is also difficulty in applying fertilisers and pesticides, thereby affecting the process for production of First Flush, Muralidharan said.
The average annual rainfall had decreased by more than 250 mm in the past 98 years and the temperatures had increased by 1.5 degree Celsius in the same period, he said.
All the tea growing belts in Assam and Darjeeling were suffering from the same problem due to extreme climatic conditions observed in the past one and the half decades, the Director said. �We are in the process to find ways for tackling the erratic weather pattern and rainfall for tea bushes if some ...methods could be developed to tackle the situation,� Muralidharan said. � PTI