The extremely hot temperature is likely to damage Darjeeling tea production this year.
The excessive heat and dry temperature of India are likely to reduce the production of tea in Darjeeling.
Darjeeling first flush tea is known for its quality and quantity which is expected to be harmed this year due to unfavorable climatic conditions.
How is climate change impacting tea production in Darjeeling?
- No rain for the last 15 days
- The last time it rained was in March
- Young buds drying due to moistureless wind
- The laborers working in the tea garden are also affected by the heat wave, and their health is affected, which reduces their productivity.
Darjeeling’s first flush tea is suitable for cool temperatures and rain. This year due to extremely high and dry temperatures, tea production is likely to fall by 30 to 40%.
The Indian Tea Exporters Association chairman Anshuman Kanoria told FE.
“Prospects of a first flush crop are very bad due to the absence of rain for more than 3 weeks.”Advertisement
He added, “Besides this, the daytime temperature has risen to 3-4 degrees above normal. As a result the leaf growth has been very low”.
The first flush not only marks the beginning of the season but also contributes to 20-25% of the production of tea every year.
The sudden showers in the month of March was seen as a sign of relief as they led to improved first-flush crops. But later the sudden heat wave took away the sigh of relief by damaging the quality and quantity of the crops in Darjeeling.
Best season for first-flush crops
First flush tea is harvested from the very first buds and leaves of the tea plant in early spring.
The tea production months in Darjeeling are from mid-March to mid-April and mid-June.
In 2011 tea production stood at 9.14 million kg. It was followed by 8.13 million kg in 2016. In 2021 tea production further came down to 7.01 million kgs and recently in 2022 the production came down to 6.6 million kgs.
The above data shows a drastic fall in the production of tea in Darjeeling due to climate change in India
Tea is the best-known commodity in Darjeeling. First flush crops serve the highest price in the market. But due to global warming and climate change, the increased temperatures and heat waves were seen as a huge loss not only for Darjaleeing but for the country as a whole.
According to a study published in peer-reviewed PLOS Climate, about 90% of the air in India is in the “danger” and “extremely cautious” zone due to increased heat waves.
- Heatwaves in India put 80% of the population at risk: Study
- Heatwave in India: How to protect yourself from heat illness?
- Rising heatwaves concerns in Odisha: cause, impact, and the way forward
- Delhi to UP, nine states under heatwave as temp reach 45°C