(Newly sprouted tea leaves. Photo/Adobe Stock)

The Tea Board of India has for the primary time established a begin date for plucking tea.

Mandating a interval of dormancy in winter to enhance high quality, the Tea Board subsequently decided that Feb. 11, 2019 is the earliest tea may be plucked for the primary flush. The order applies to gardens in Bengal and Bihar.

Plucking will begin Feb. 18 within the states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Manipur. Tea pluckers in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand should wait till February 28.

Leaf high quality improves when timber are permitted to relaxation. Cold climate advantages the harvest when temperatures stay round 40 levels (5 Centigrade) for quick intervals. Planters final week had been very happy on the arrival of winter climate together with the primary measurable snowfall in Darjeeling in a decade.

“Tea is a chill loving tree,” tea scientist Dr. S. E. Kabir informed the Economic Times.

In October the tea board determined that manufacturing ought to stop by mid December however was undecided on when processing ought to start in spring. Variables embrace rain and the early arrival of heat temperatures. The first flush typically begins in mid February and extends by means of March adopted by a second flush which continues till the arrival of the monsoons. The closing autumn harvest ends in early December.

India’s first harvest of the 12 months generates about 20 p.c of inexperienced leaf totals however accounts for 30 p.c of income. Stakeholders mentioned the obligatory pluck date at size and the board agreed to some flexibility in following historic patterns.

However, “early cropping because of favorable weather conditions/other factors and starting of manufacturing before the timeline must be brought to the notice of the board prior to the commencement of such activity,” in keeping with the board.

“The industry is hopeful that after a successful closure (December 15) better quality teas will reach the market in March end and fetch better prices, which will indirectly ensure better wages for those engaged in the plantations,” a board official informed The Telegraph.

Halting the late season harvest was a precedence as by that time the timber are exhausted.

“Bad quality tea produced in violation of the (Food Products Standard and Food Additives) norms in winter has caused considerable damage to the name and reputation of Indian tea among customers. Indian tea is known for its quality, flavor, aroma, briskness and creamy mouth feel and presence of such bad quality tea has become an impediment in increasing the export,” in keeping with the board.

Sustained efforts to enhance high quality will result in higher costs, in keeping with the board. Average costs have elevated up to now month due partly to decrease yields. October manufacturing was down almost 7 p.c to 150.55 million kilos, in comparison with 161.1 million kilos throughout the identical interval in 2017. India produced 1,117.6 million kilos through the January-October interval. Teas that had been promoting for $1.45 per kilo final 12 months are up 25-cents to $1.70 per kilo.

Sources: The Economic Times, The Telegraph.

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