September 29, 2022

More than half of Darjeeling tea plantations on the brink of sale, know in 5 points

The production of Darjeeling tea has not decreased, but its buyers and value have decreased. The main reason for this is recession. The largest export of Darjeeling tea is to Europe. But the situation there is getting worse.

The story of Darjeeling tea is unique. You won’t get its taste anywhere else. This is why Darjeeling tea is also called the ‘champagne of tea’. But the condition of this tea is still bad. Darjeeling tea is fighting for its existence in the world market. According to a report in the ‘Economic Times’, half of the tea gardens in Darjeeling are in the process of being sold. These tea gardens are now looking for customers. Rising wages of labourers, falling demand for tea and prices put Darjeeling tea in trouble. Let’s find out why such a crisis has arisen in front of Darjeeling tea.

1- There is tea, but no buyers

Yes, the production of Darjeeling tea has not decreased, but its buyers and value have decreased. The main reason for this is recession. The largest export of Darjeeling tea is to Europe. But the situation there is getting worse. The Russia-Ukraine war has thrown European countries into disarray. Due to this the demand of Darjeeling is decreasing due to which the tea growers are facing huge problems.

2-Protest is wasteful work

Labor and union protests are a common occurrence in tea gardens. This affects production as well as exports. The protests tarnished the image of Darjeeling tea gardens in the world. Some countries have reduced the demand for Darjeeling tea due to this. Among them, the most prominent name is Japan. Japan is also a prominent name in the world of Darjeeling tea. But Japan has reduced demand. This is because of the Gorkhaland protests of 2017, which stopped tea work for almost 100 days. In these difficult days, Japan shifted its focus from Darjeeling tea to Nepal.

3-Emergence of Nepal in tea trade

Nepal has emerged as a major tea market for many countries. Nepalese tea has already become famous both in import and export. As a result both production and sale of Darjeeling tea suffered greatly. The tea plantations here are continuously running on losses due to reduced demand for Darjeeling tea from Europe and Japan. There are reports of inferior tea being sold from Nepal and premium tea being re-exported from Darjeeling.

4- Decrease in production

According to one statistic, the production of Darjeeling tea has reached 110 lakh kg in a year. But gradually it has been seen to decrease. In 2021-22, Darjeeling tea production was only 71 lakh kg. On the other hand, around 45 lakh kg of tea was imported from Nepal during January-May 2022, while the amount was 19 lakh kg during the same period in 2021. That is, in one year more than double the import of tea from Nepal to India. Due to this, the demand for Darjeeling tea has decreased.

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5-Changes in government regulations

Changes in government regulations have also had an impact. In 2003, the government refused to give GI tags to any imported tea. In November 2021, the Tea Board issued a notification banning the distribution of second class imported tea in the domestic market. Through this, the Bengal government allowed tea tourism in 15 percent of the tea plantations. Because of this, the local tea sellers are preparing to set up a resort on the tea garden land. For this, tea plantation land is being developed according to tea tourism.

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