Tea production may dip due to adverse weather
A fall in tea production during the peak season will have a big impact on the target for the whole year
- Tea production in some gardens has decreased by up to 40% due to adverse weather
- From January to June 2020, production was 2,18,09,000 kilogrammes
- From January to June 2019, production was 2,78,48,000 kilogrammes
- This year's tea production target is 7,59,40,000 kilogrammes
- In six months this year, compared to the same period last year, 61.39 lakh kilogrammes less tea was produced
- If the weather remains unfavorable, this difference will increase by the end of the year
- In June 2019, tea production was 11,667,000 kilogrammes
- In June this year, 89,83,000 kilogrammes of tea were produced
- 25 days of rainfall in June will affect production in July and August
Last year, Bangladesh set a record when it produced 9.60 lakh kilogrammes of tea. To build on this, the country set a target to produce 14 crore kilogrammes of tea by 2025. However, due to adverse weather, there are concerns about meeting this year's target.
Experts said a favorable environment, proper rainfall and normal temperatures are the controlling forces of tea production. However, there has been no rain in the region for five months since last December. Tea plantations have suffered a lot due to the severe drought while there were rains or cloudy skies on 25 days in June.
Bangladesh Tea Research Center Scientific Officer Dr Abdul Aziz said rains at night and sun in the day act as regulators in tea production. A cloudier sky can cause lower production as well as increase attacks by various insects including loopers.
He fears that production may fall during peak season – June to September – in this hide and seek of sun and rain.
Sirajul Islam, general manager of Hamidia Tea Garden, said, "Due to the continuous drought from the beginning of the year, our garden was lagging behind by 75 percent in tea production till March."
Selim Reza, manager of Jerin Tea Garden, said that in March alone, tea production in his garden was reduced by 50 percent due to drought.
Tea gardeners said the rainfall for 25 days in June will affect production in July and August. In July and August 2019, two crore 46 lakh nine thousand kilogrammes of tea were produced – which is 28 lakh kilogrammes more than the first six months of this year.
The fall in tea production during the peak season will have a big impact on the year's target. From June to September, the target for tea production is more than one crore kilogrammes per month.
The Bangladesh Tea Board said the country has set the target for tea production at 7,59,40,000 kilogrammes this year. In the last six months this year – January-June – 2,18,09,000 kilogrammes were produced. In the first six months of last year, the production was 2,78,48,000 kilogrammes.
In six months this year, compared to the same period last year, 61.39 lakh kilogrammes less tea was produced. However, if the weather remains unfavorable, this difference will increase by the end of the year.
In June 2019, the tea production was 11,667,000 kilogrammes. In June this year, 89,83,000 kilogrammes of tea was produced.
Bangladesh Tea Board Assistant Statistics Officer Sayeda Banu said compared to the first six months of last year, the production of tea has decreased by 61.39 lakh kilogrammes this year. Rainfall in June will affect the production in July-August.
The Tea Association of Bangladesh's Sylhet Valley President GM Shibly said due to adverse weather this year, the production of some gardens has decreased by up to 40 percent.
"If the weather is good, it is possible to produce one to one and a half crore kilogrammes of tea per month at this time. However, if the weather is not good, the target will not be achieved," he added.
Nahar Tea Garden general manager Piyush Kanti said, "In the first six months of last year, my garden produced 60,487 kilogrammes of tea. And till May this year, more than 16,000 kilogrammes have been produced. At present, we are 29 percent behind the target."
Bangladesh Tea Board Deputy Director (Planning) Munir Ahmed said, "Despite the bad weather at the beginning of the year, we hope to produce tea as per the target by the end of the year."
It is not impossible to meet the target if the weather is favorable in these next few months, he added.
However, in-charge of the Sylhet Divisional Meteorological Office Sayed Ahmed Chowdhury said heavy rains could occur from July 21.
The Bangladesh Tea Board said there are 166 tea gardens in the country. Of these: 92 are in Moulvibazar, 24 in Habiganj, 19 in Sylhet, 22 in Chattogram, seven in Panchagarh, two in Rangamati, and one in Thakurgaon.
The demand for tea is nine crore kilogrammes per year in Bangladesh. Tea imports started in 2010 to meet this demand. In 2015, a maximum of 1.14 crore kilogrammes of tea were imported. In 2019, the country had produced 9.60 lakh kilogrammes of tea which was the highest production in this industry, breaking the record of 165 years.