Begin typing your search above and press return to search.

Productivity of tea pluckers down

By Ajit Patowary
  • Whatsapp
  • Telegram
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • koo
  • Whatsapp
  • Telegram
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • koo
  • Whatsapp
  • Telegram
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • koo

GUWAHATI, June 22 - Productivity of tea pluckers in the State�s gardens has gone down in the past few years and it is a matter of great concern for the tea industry, said PK Sarma, a former superintending manager of the Tezpore Tea Company, a subsidiary of the Shaw Wallace & Co and a filed expert under the BP Chaliha Chair Professor of the civil engineering department of IIT Guwahati.

Talking to this newspaper, Sarma said in the 1970s productivity of State tea pluckers was 35 kg or more per head. But it has now come down to 25 kg or less per head.

One of the reasons for high productivity in the past decades was that the children of the tea pluckers used to help their parents in plucking. The children used to do it for earning pocket money for the festive seasons. But that practice has now been discontinued.

This may be attributed to the initiative taken by the State government under the stewardship of late Chief Minister Bimala Prasad Chaliha to spread education among tea garden workers and their children. It was followed by several such measures by the subsequent State governments.

Spread of education has made new generation of the tea garden workers abhorred of working in the tea estates as workers in the old style and also of the wages determined by the workers� unions through bargain/negotiation with the owners.

The new generation of the tea garden workers now prefer jobs outside the gardens and the industry is losing the most productive section of the people in the age group of 18 to 35 years. Significantly, among the progeny of the tea garden workers, who belong to the age group of 18 years to 30 years, a large number are reported to be jobless.

The tea gardens of the State have now around seven lakh of permanent workers and around the same number of temporary or casual workers. While the permanent workers are permanently engaged in the activities of the gardens, the temporary workers are engaged by the garden managements only during the plucking seasons.

However, Sarma maintained that since the tea estate factories are mechanised during the past few years, it has improved productivity in these factories. The productivity of factory workers is now about 100 kg per worker or more as against the 45 kg per worker or less in the 1970s.

Similarly, productivity improvement in some areas like pruning, ploughing, harrowing, weed control, pest control and application of fertilizers has also been observed due to introduction of mechanised devices. But the productivity in the area of plucking is reducing every passing day, Sarma said.

Next Story
Similar Posts
Productivity of tea pluckers down

GUWAHATI, June 22 - Productivity of tea pluckers in the State�s gardens has gone down in the past few years and it is a matter of great concern for the tea industry, said PK Sarma, a former superintending manager of the Tezpore Tea Company, a subsidiary of the Shaw Wallace & Co and a filed expert under the BP Chaliha Chair Professor of the civil engineering department of IIT Guwahati.

Talking to this newspaper, Sarma said in the 1970s productivity of State tea pluckers was 35 kg or more per head. But it has now come down to 25 kg or less per head.

One of the reasons for high productivity in the past decades was that the children of the tea pluckers used to help their parents in plucking. The children used to do it for earning pocket money for the festive seasons. But that practice has now been discontinued.

This may be attributed to the initiative taken by the State government under the stewardship of late Chief Minister Bimala Prasad Chaliha to spread education among tea garden workers and their children. It was followed by several such measures by the subsequent State governments.

Spread of education has made new generation of the tea garden workers abhorred of working in the tea estates as workers in the old style and also of the wages determined by the workers� unions through bargain/negotiation with the owners.

The new generation of the tea garden workers now prefer jobs outside the gardens and the industry is losing the most productive section of the people in the age group of 18 to 35 years. Significantly, among the progeny of the tea garden workers, who belong to the age group of 18 years to 30 years, a large number are reported to be jobless.

The tea gardens of the State have now around seven lakh of permanent workers and around the same number of temporary or casual workers. While the permanent workers are permanently engaged in the activities of the gardens, the temporary workers are engaged by the garden managements only during the plucking seasons.

However, Sarma maintained that since the tea estate factories are mechanised during the past few years, it has improved productivity in these factories. The productivity of factory workers is now about 100 kg per worker or more as against the 45 kg per worker or less in the 1970s.

Similarly, productivity improvement in some areas like pruning, ploughing, harrowing, weed control, pest control and application of fertilizers has also been observed due to introduction of mechanised devices. But the productivity in the area of plucking is reducing every passing day, Sarma said.