Darjeeling tea production falls to a record low in 2021


Although in 2020 there was an increase in production of 0.63 million kg, there was a drop of 50% compared to the average production capacity of the region, said sources from the tea industry.

Darjeeling tea, the flag bearer of Indian tea and one of the most popular varieties of tea in the world, is disappearing. Darjeeling tea production has been reduced to 6.19 million kg in 2021, the lowest level in history, according to the Tea Board.

Although in 2020 there was an increase in production of 0.63 million kg, there was a drop of 50% compared to the average production capacity of the region, said sources from the tea industry. In 2019, Darjeeling produced 6.39 million kg.

Political agitation, the Covid-19 pandemic, unstable weather conditions, unsustainable plantations, and rising production costs have led to the fall of the Darjeeling variety.

Further, the quality was compromised because many planters picked up earlier than expected due to lack of money. A good yield of the first rinse brings 35% of the total annual income of Darjeeling tea. November production or last production in the season fell to 0.35 million kg from 0.59 million kg in the same period last year.

I’m talking to FE, Atul Asthana, CEO of Goodrick Tea, production in Darjeeling has been declining since 2017. From 10 million kg, it has reached six million kg. Quality has also deteriorated in the odd 87 operating tea gardens.
“Existing bushes need to be uprooted and replanted urgently. Production costs in Darjeeling reached Rs 700 per kilogram, but prices on the international and domestic markets are not profitable. Also, replanting cannot happen without the help of the government, but for the relevant ministry it may seem like a very small matter to intervene, ”Asthana said.
In 2021, the first production of Darjeeling, which produces the finest varieties and harvested between March and April, was hit hard at 0.66 million kg compared to 1.28 million kg in the same period in 2019, due to a longer drought period.

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