GUWAHATI, Dec 10 � The expectation of the tea industry to touch the magic figure of 1,000 million kgs in 2011 may remain elusive. Latest analysis shows that the total tea production of the country this year is bound to be restricted somewhere near 985 million kgs.
Revealing this, sources in the tea industry said as per the January to September figures, the tea production of the country has soared by 41 million kgs in North India and dropped by 4.6 million kgs in South India, compared to the corresponding period last year. In all, India could produce 966 million kgs of tea last year.
This generated a hope in the Indian tea industry that this year it would be able to record an all time high production with 1,000 million kgs.
But, unfavourable weather condition from mid-October affected production this year and hence the above estimate has received a beating. Now, the revised estimate has hinted that the country�s total tea production is going to be limited to around 985 million kgs by the end of this season.
Till 2010, the all time high production of the country was 986 kgs in 2007. In 2010, China recorded an all time high tea production with 1,370 million kgs.
In 1895, India overtook China. Since then, it continued to be the world leader in tea production till 2006. In 2006, China overtook India after a gap of 111 years. It took more than 175 years for India to reach the current area of 5.79 lakh hectares under tea cultivation, and in the contrary, China added an area of more than 6 lakh hectares under tea during the last ten years. In fact, during the last ten years, the global tea area got expanded by 8 lakh hectares and of this, China accounts for 75 per cent. Kenya and Vietnam together increased 1 lakh hectares, while in India, the additional area brought under tea was around 89,000 hectares and that too mainly in the small tea growing sector.