Jan 3, 2019
Tea planters in Bengal tea zone are hoping immense post-winter high-value first flush harvest for the second consecutive year. The tea planters give credit to prevailing favorable weather conditions.
Entire tea belt in Bengal is blanketed in deep submergence due to chill climate. The temperatures in Terai and Dooars tea belts in foothills have tremendously dipped lower than 5°C. Areas of high altitude are covered with thick ice. This scene shall continue till mid-January 2019, said Indian Meteorological Department.
The cool wave has brought joy to the planters to put together produce around 325 million kg of processed tea, nearly 25% of country’s national yield. Last year also, the whole region had a favorable post winter first flush yield after witnessing almost the same temperature dynamics in end 2017.
“Tea is a chill loving tree. Hence, normal duration of low temperature is good for its health. But, too low sunshine or foggy weather is not good as it retards bud breaking or opening of new leaves, ” said eminent tea scientist Dr. S. E. Kabir
“We are hopeful of positive post winter first flush if overall normal weather condition prevails for entire January,” said veteran planter K. K. Mintri. Seconded by senior planter Sujit Seal.
“Present trend of sunshine is good enough and moisture level in air is also favorable,” said Chairman of Terai Indian Planters Association Mahendra Bansal. “But yes, we need rainfall in January or February to have expected output,” he added.
After peak winter dormant phase of no plucking of leaves, fresh healthy leaf, known as ‘first flush,’ starts blooming with full potential budding to the fullest from mid February till March end. These new leaves enjoys highest level of pricing. With 20% contribution to annual output volume, it forms near 30% of rupee value sales. This scenic view of the tea plantain, the first flush always remains under attention of all in tea estate.