Prepared by-SwapnaliSaikiaRoll no. 223rd semester (2011)Department of Geography, G.U.
Tea industry in assam
“Tea Industry in Assam: A General Overview” Swapnali Saikia Jorhat, India
INTRODUCTION: The state of Assam is the worlds largest tea-growing region, lying on either side of theBrahmaputra River, and bordering Bangladesh andMyanmar. This part of India experiences highprecipitation; during the monsoon period, as muchas 10 to 12 inches (250–300 mm) of rain per day.The daytime temperature rises to about 103F (40°C), creating greenhouse-like conditions of extremehumidity and heat. This tropical climate contributesto Assams unique malty taste, a feature for whichthis tea is well known.
The Tea industry in Assam is about 170 yearsold. It occupies an important place and plays a veryspecial role in the State economy in particular andin the national economy in general. The wild teaplants were discovered in upper Brahmaputravalley by Robert Bruce in 1823 and the first Indiantea was sent to United Kingdom for public sale inthe year 1838. Thereafter tea cultivation wasextended to other parts of the country between 50‟sand 60‟s of the last century. As of today, Assam Teahas maintained its international reputation andcommands significant share in the world TeaMarket.
Tea of the agriculture-based industries, teaoccupies an important place in Assam. In Assam, teais grown both in the Brahmaputra and Barak plains.Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Sibsagar, Jorhat, Golaghat, Nagaon and Sonitpur are the districts where teagardens are mostly found. Assam produces 51% ofthe tea produced in India and about 1/6th of the teaproduced in the world. The tea industry in Assamalso provides average daily employment to morethan six lakh persons in the State which is around 50percent of the total average daily number of labouremployed in the country.
OBJECTIVES:•To show the present condition of teaindustry in Assam•To identify the problems & prospects oftea industry of Assam
METHODOLOGY: The present study is both qualitative &quantitative in nature. Information regarding thetopic in collected from various sources likebooks, newspapers, magazines, official websitesetc. The collected data and information havebeen analyzed with the help of appropriategeographic methods & techniques.
ANALYSIS: Tea manufacturing is one of the premierindustry of Assam. It plays a vital role in theeconomy of the state. About 17 percent of theworkers of Assam are engaged in the tea industry.The total area under tea cultivation in Assam isaccounting for more than half of the country‟s totalarea under tea. In addition to existing big & largetea gardens owned by reputed both Indian andmultinational Companies, the profession of teaplantation in the State has taken up by common manas business venture at present, especially byunemployed youths.
According to the Tea Board of India, “there aremore than 43000 small tea growers in Assamproducing about nine percent of the State‟s totalannual production.” [State focus paper, Assam-2009-l0 by NABARD]. As per Tea Board of Indiainformation there are 52000 small tea growers inAssam at the end of March 2009 out of which 3767were registered with the Tea Board of India. Thesmall tea growers cover around 65000 hectares ofland and they produce more than 100 million tonneof tea leaf annually [According to the All AssamSmall Tea Growers Association, there are 65466
small tea growers in Assam as on March 2008and covers 103298 hectares of land. These smalltea growers produced 14185 lakh kgs. green teaduring the year 2007-08]. Most of the small teagardens in the State are confined to upperAssam. Dibrugarh accounts for 30 percent of thetotal tea gardens followed by Tinsukia 22percent, Jorhat 13 percent, Golaghat 12 percent,Sivasagar 11 percent and other districts contain11 percent.
Assam alone produces more than halfof India‟s tea production. The estimatedproduction of tea in Assam was 511.9thousand tonnes in 2007 which constitutesmore than 50 per cent of the total teaproduction of the country. During the year2006, the quantity of production of tea inAssam was 502.0 thousand tonnes.
Tea Statistics of Assam and India: Source: Economic Survey Assam 2009-10 Area under Total Tea No. of Tea Tea Average yield Production Gardens (in 000 (kg / hectare)Year (in 000 kg.) hectare) Assam India Assam India Assam India Assam India2001 40795 116659 269 510 453587 853923 1685 16752002 43272 127801 271 516 433327 838474 1601 16252003 43293 129027 272 520 434759 878129 1601 16902004 43293 129027 272 521 435649 892965 1603 17132005 49102 140712 301 556 487487 945974 1622 17032006 NA NA 312 567 502041 981805 1610 17322007 NA NA 321 578 511885 986427 1593 1705
Quantity and Average price of Tea Sold in the Guwahati Tea Centre: Source: Economic Survey Assam 2009-10 Leaf Dust CTC Orthodox CTC OrthodoxYear Averag Quantit Averag Quantit Average Quantit Quantit Averag e Price y e Price y Price y y e Price (Rs. (million (Rs. per (million (Rs. per (million (million (Rs. per per Kg.) kg.) Kg.) kg.) Kg.) Kg.) kg.) kg.)2005 101.94 61.11 0.61 61.62 40.30 59.19 - -2006 100.75 67.96 0.72 78.18 40.9 68.27 - -2007 106.88 70.09 4.16 73.93 41.51 73.02 0.001 50.002008 110.14 90.20 0.56 92.39 41.99 95.73 - -2009(upto 40.88 102.61 0.24 94.94 14.09 106.79 - -July)
Fig. 1:No. of total Tea Gardens in Assam600005000040000300002000010000 0 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
Fig.2: Area under Tea (in 000 hectare)35030025020015010050 0 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Fig. 3: Total tea production in Assam520000500000480000460000 Total Tea Production (in440000 000 kg.)420000400000380000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
In its 166 years of old history, the tea industryof Assam, for the first time, is going through one ofits worst phases. There have been decline inexport, stagnant of domestic production andmarketing in the Indian tea industry. According to anexpert committee report of the State Government inOctober,2003 the important problems of the teaindustry of Assam are:•Fall in tea prices•Rise in production cost•Labour productivity going down•Increase in fuel cost
•Inadequate power supply•Old machineries•Decline exports•Fall in production of quality tea•Declining domestic consumption The committee submitted its report on August5, 2004 and recommended following measures forimprovement of the position of the State‟s teaindustry in the world market:•All tea for sale should go through tea auctioncenter•There should be amendment of tea marketingcontrol order
•To open tea auction center at Jorhat &Dibrugarh•Incentives to tea producers coming for teaauction•Orthodox tea production should be subsided•Subsidy to replantation should be increased•Promote organic tea cultivation
CONCLUSION: Assam tea grown at sea level, is known for itsbody, briskness, malty flavour and strong brightcolor. Though Assam tea generally indicates thedistinctive black teas from Assam, the region alsoproduces relatively smaller quantities of green andwhite tea as well with their own distinctivecharacteristics. Assam is the world‟s single largesttea growing region. At present Assam producesabout 55% of the country‟s total tea production.
The economic realization of the importance of teain Assam is a forgone conclusion. Along with theorganized sector the proliferation of small teacultivation in Assam has created vast employmentopportunities in the rural areas giving economicimpetus as well as employment generation. The Government of India has created aSpecial Purpose Tea Fund (SPTF) which is meantfor rejuvenation of tea bushes. This will benefitabout 700-800 tea gardens of the state. In animportant policy decision – the Government hasdecided to secure a geographical indication for thetea produced in the state.
„Assam Tea‟ will be known as „AssamOrthodox Tea‟ once the geographical indicationis secured, thus making it an exclusivecommodity and raising its stakes in the globalmarket. Very recently in this year the StateGovernment decided to launch a “A CHAIBAR” in Guwahati to popular „Assam Tea‟among the domestic and foreign tourists.