Gardens of woe: Lockdown takes heavy toll on tea output

Joseph B. Hash

Tea production in the current tea season (March to October) is expected to plunge due to uncontrolled growth of tea bushes and proliferation of weeds as the tea gardens remain shut during the countrywide Covid lockdown.

Though the Ministry of Home Affairs has exempted tea industry from the lockdown, State governments and district magistrates are yet to pass similar orders with proper restrictions.

This apart, tea estates have to deal with infestation of pests, with garden maintenance activities almost non-existent during the lockdown period.

Substantial efforts are needed to bring bushes back to a state conducive for growing and plucking.

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