Price realisation has remained stagnant for the last several years and the industry is also facing an oversupply situation.
Kolkata: It promises to bring on table the cuppa that cheers! A young scientist of Tocklai Tea Research Institute of Tea Research Association Jorhat, a 109-year-old premier research institute of the tea industry, claims to have come up with a solution to some of the key challenges the tea industry is facing, like increasing cost of production, decline of yield and quality.
Price realisation has remained stagnant for the last several years and the industry is also facing an oversupply situation. For instance, Assam's tea production in 2019 reached a record 715.79 million kg, which was 51.5 per cent of the all India production of 1,389.7 million kg.
Indian Tea Association (ITA) chairman Vivek Goenka recently said the industry won't be able to survive at the current price levels as costs of production has increased whereas prices have remained stagnant over the past five years. The majority of tea estates in Assam and West Bengal are selling their products well below the cost of production. In the past few months distress levels have resulted in sales, closures, and references to the insolvency tribunals, he said.
And now Pranita Hazarika, a young scientist of TRA Tocklai, has cracked some of these problems and transferred true tissue cultured tea plants from the flask to the field. The plants have completed one year of luxuriant growth and received the first prune on January 20.
Anoop Kumar Barooah, director, TRA, Tocklai, said, "Her work clearly demonstrated that the tissue culture technology can in fact be applicable for commercial micro-propagation of tea plantlets at a reasonable price much faster than the conventional methods. It throws up a possibility of a complete transformation of the entire supply chain management of tea planting materials in the near future."