Tea industry in Tripura on the verge of extinction

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Agartala, June 9 (ANI): Unfavorable climatic conditions and shortage of labourers is taking a toll on tea industry in Tripura.

To sort out the problem facing the industry, tea estate owners of the state met the Forest Minister of Tripura Jitendra Choudhury.

Choudhury said that if the labourers were given additional facilities this could mitigate the problem to some extent.

"The labourers can be given some facilities and we believe by doing this the labour shortage can be mitigated and the absenteeism can be reduced too," he added.

The tea estate owners have been asking the state government for working out some solution to solve their problems.

S.K. Choudhury, owner of a tea estate said that unless something is done urgently the tea industry would die a natural death in Tripura.

"Although it is an established tea growing area today it (Tripura) has been relegated to a non-traditional tea growing area. Unless a massive effort is made the tea industry will die a natural death in Tripura," said Choudhury.

The tea industry depends on exports for its profits since the domestic per capita consumption of tea is not enough to survive on.

Tea plantation in Tripura started way back in 1920 and at present there are 58 tea estates beside small growers.

The total area under tea is around 13371.77 hectares with annual production of 7.75 million kilograms of tealeaves.

Officials say that India's tea production in financial year 2009, is expected to rise by only two percent to 1,000 million kilograms on the back of increase in yield from re-plantation and higher acreage. By Pinaki Das (ANI)

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