GUWAHATI, Sept 10 - While World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) declared July last as the hottest month in its latest ENSO update, for the tea industry of the State last August was the hottest August. The hot weather condition in August this year caused significant production loss to the State�s tea estates (TEs). The detailed report of August, 2019 production loss of the State�s tea industry is under preparation.
According to the scientists of the Tea Research Association�s Tocklai Tea Research Institute (TTRI), the maximum temperature during August last was found to be 1.9 degree Celsius, 1.5 degree Celsius and 0.8 degree Celsius more when compared with the August long term normal and 2017 and 2018 August temperatures respectively. In 2019 August, the minimum temperature was also found to be 0.6 degree Celsius more compared to the long term normal and 2017 minimum temperatures for the month.
Again, the number of days with the maximum temperature of 36 degree Celsius or above was found to be nine in August, 2019, while maximum temperature never touched 36 degree Celsius in August 2017 and 2018 recorded only two days with such a high maximum temperature in August.
During August this year, rainfall activities were found to be less, compared to the long term normal and those of 2018 for the month. The decrease was found to be 94.9 mm and 96.7 mm compared to the long term normal August rainfall and the 2018 August rainfall. Similarly, August 2019, with 12 rainy days, recorded around 50 per cent less number of rainy days, compared to the 23 rainy days of the long term normal for the month.
Moreover, the 2019 August relative humidity tally with 87 per cent in the morning and 68 per cent in the afternoon, were also found to be less than the long term normal for the month. The long term normal for August morning humidity is 93 per cent and the afternoon long term August humidity is 74 per cent.
Compared to the long term normal, 2017 and 2018 August sunshine hours, the sunshine hour in August this year was found to be longer. The long term normal for the month in this respect is five hour, while in 2017 August it was 3.7 hours and in August 2018 it was five hours.��
According to Nazrana Ahmed, chairperson of the Assam Tea Planters� Association (ATPA), production loss in the tea gardens affiliated to the ATPA ranged between 7 per cent and 8 per cent due to scorching heat and incidence of pest attacks facilitated by the high August temperatures.
According to Bharatiya Cha Parishad (BCP) chairman Mrigendra Jalan, in the Brahmaputra Valley, at least 15 per cent crop loss has been recorded in August this year in the TEs affiliated to the BCP. However, a complete report on the total crop loss of the BCP TEs is still under compilation, as reports from some TEs are still awaited.
According to Assam Branch of Indian Tea Association (ABITA) secretary Abhijit Sarma, the overall production loss in the ABITA affiliated TEs in the Brahmaputra Valley was around 15 per cent during the month of August this year. Giving the break up, he said the ABITA affiliated TEs in Upper Assam suffered a production loss of��14 per cent, the TEs in Middle Assam suffered a loss of 19 per cent and the TEs of the North Bank suffered a production loss of 14 per cent during that month.��
According to secretary of the Surma Valley Branch of the Indian Tea Association (SBVITA) Bhaskar Chaliha, the TEs affiliated to the SBVITA suffered ten per cent loss in production during August this year, compared to the 2018 August production.
According to the TTRI scientists, the August production loss is likely to reduce the State�s total tea production this year.