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State tea output down due to heat

By Pankaj Borthakur

JORHAT, Aug 27 - The million dollar tea industry of Assam has suffered adverse weather conditions this month as the production decreased to 25 per cent from the expected level in most of the gardens, with the excessive heat affecting photosynthesis in the plants.

Scientists at the Tea Research Association (TRA) said that though the ideal temperature for a tea bush is recorded between 25 degree and 32 degree Celsius, the month of August experienced more than 39 degree Celsius in most of the gardens of Jorhat, Golaghat, Sivasagar, Sonari, Dibrugarh, Lakhimpur, Sonitpur and several other locations of the state.

�The soaring mercury level in this month has been identified as the main reason for the loss of productivity in most of the tea bushes in Jorhat, Golaghat and several other areas of the state. If the temperature crosses 32 degrees, photosynthesis is seriously affected and this ultimately decreases productivity,� said Dr Sunil Kumar Pathak, who is now working as the Chief Scientist and Deputy Director (ASA) of TRA�s Tocklai Tea Research Institute in Jorhat.

Many tea planters and managerial staff of the gardens of Upper Assam told this correspondent that their gardens witnessed low productivity this month as the day-time temperature did not come down from 37 degree Celsius.

�The production has decreased to approximately 25 per cent in our tea gardens. Excessive temperature had a negative effect in productivity,� former chairperson of the Assam Tea Planters� Association (ATPA) Raj Barooah added.

Many other tea planters of Upper Assam gardens also said that they did not experience such an unchanging level of temperature for several weeks earlier during the month of August.

�We have recorded up to 39 degree Celsius in our gardens. We have gardens in Mariani, Cachar and Golaghat. As the day-time temperature continued to be around 39 degree Celsius for the past many weeks, the temperature of the bushes increases automatically, which impacted photosynthesis in the leaves,� said Vikram Salathiya, a manager of Grob Tea Company Limited.

As the weather forecast shows rainfall in the next week, TRA scientists hope that the loss in production in this month may be compensated if the gardens experience conducive rainfall and heat in September, which is predicted to be one of the best months for quality green leaf production across the tea gardens of Assam.

It may be mentioned that the state produced over 610 million kilograms of tea in the financial year 2014-15 and foreign consumers preferred it as one of the most popular beverages in several developed countries because of its quality.

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State tea output down due to heat

JORHAT, Aug 27 - The million dollar tea industry of Assam has suffered adverse weather conditions this month as the production decreased to 25 per cent from the expected level in most of the gardens, with the excessive heat affecting photosynthesis in the plants.

Scientists at the Tea Research Association (TRA) said that though the ideal temperature for a tea bush is recorded between 25 degree and 32 degree Celsius, the month of August experienced more than 39 degree Celsius in most of the gardens of Jorhat, Golaghat, Sivasagar, Sonari, Dibrugarh, Lakhimpur, Sonitpur and several other locations of the state.

�The soaring mercury level in this month has been identified as the main reason for the loss of productivity in most of the tea bushes in Jorhat, Golaghat and several other areas of the state. If the temperature crosses 32 degrees, photosynthesis is seriously affected and this ultimately decreases productivity,� said Dr Sunil Kumar Pathak, who is now working as the Chief Scientist and Deputy Director (ASA) of TRA�s Tocklai Tea Research Institute in Jorhat.

Many tea planters and managerial staff of the gardens of Upper Assam told this correspondent that their gardens witnessed low productivity this month as the day-time temperature did not come down from 37 degree Celsius.

�The production has decreased to approximately 25 per cent in our tea gardens. Excessive temperature had a negative effect in productivity,� former chairperson of the Assam Tea Planters� Association (ATPA) Raj Barooah added.

Many other tea planters of Upper Assam gardens also said that they did not experience such an unchanging level of temperature for several weeks earlier during the month of August.

�We have recorded up to 39 degree Celsius in our gardens. We have gardens in Mariani, Cachar and Golaghat. As the day-time temperature continued to be around 39 degree Celsius for the past many weeks, the temperature of the bushes increases automatically, which impacted photosynthesis in the leaves,� said Vikram Salathiya, a manager of Grob Tea Company Limited.

As the weather forecast shows rainfall in the next week, TRA scientists hope that the loss in production in this month may be compensated if the gardens experience conducive rainfall and heat in September, which is predicted to be one of the best months for quality green leaf production across the tea gardens of Assam.

It may be mentioned that the state produced over 610 million kilograms of tea in the financial year 2014-15 and foreign consumers preferred it as one of the most popular beverages in several developed countries because of its quality.

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